- Babies are often very alert at birth, especially those who have had a normal birth without drugs
- Following the initial alertness they very often are quite sleepy. A sleepy baby at this stage is normal
- Not too interested in feeding but rest assured they are getting lots of colostrum, which meets their needs perfectly
- Baby – not many wee’s, poo will be black and sticky (meconium) – all normal
- Baby may be more wakeful and want to feed more often.
- Alert and wakeful baby is normal.
- They feed more often to stimulate the increase in milk.
- Baby – maybe notice more wee’s, poo will be greenish (transitional)
Around Day 2-4 the breasts are filling and baby seems to feed frequently.
- Keep baby close to you, don’t plan anything else but focus on feeding and sleeping – both of you.
- The breasts can feel very uncomfortable for a day or two – this is normal and it will settle.
- Baby – wee’s, should notice good amount of clear colour wee, poo will become yellowish, like seeded mustard. Looks like diarrhea – but is normal consistency for a breastfed baby
- Baby looking more settled following a feed, as his tummy adapts to being much more full
- Hearing lots of gulping sounds at each feed
- Breasts starting to feel more comfortable
How Long Should Each Feed Take?
This, of course, varies from baby to baby. Anywhere from 10 – 40 mins. is an average. The pattern for all babies is to have a few sucks, then a rest. Remember, it is hard work all this sucking! The concentration of milk increases throughout as the volume decreases.
Rather than ‘timing’ the feed, it is important to ‘read’ your baby’s signals.
- sucking is not as strong
- baby is relaxed, and sleepy
- arms are ‘floppy’
This is a good indication that the baby has a full tummy. They will often just slip off the nipple at this stage.
Milk is stored within milk sacs in the breast. This ‘let-down’ reflex occurs when the tiny muscle fibres surrounding these milk sacs contract at intervals throughout the feed. It is quite common for women to be aware of this reflex. It may be felt as a warm tingling sensation, or a feeling of relaxation. Some women don’t feel anything. This is normal.
Do I Feed One Breast or Both?
Each baby is different. Generally in the first few days baby will be interested in both breasts, when there is colostrum. Once the milk is in and well established, many babies are satisfied with one breast per feed. It will just take a little while for you to learn what suits your baby best. Remember if baby has both breasts at each feed then always start the next feed from the side you finished.
- A newborn needs at least 6 breastfeeds in 24 hrs., but may take as many as 12 feeds
- Babies are much more sleepy during the day, and very normal for them to be quite wakeful during the night. This pattern will change over time
- Baby is getting adequate breastmilk if they have at least 5-10 good wet nappies in 24hrs.
- Your baby’s feeding pattern will vary over the first few weeks. They will often want to feed more frequently when having a growth spurt at around 10 days, 6 weeks and 3-4 months.
.It takes time to establish a breastfeeding relationship with your baby and to feel confident. The correct positioning and attaching will become automatic for Mum and baby.