06 Oct Breastfeeding: What You Need to Know for Your First Week!
Maybe your due date is soon arriving, or maybe you just delivered your beautiful bundle of joy. Below are some bits of information to prepare you for your first week of breastfeeding:
You have milk!
After your baby is born, your breasts are already filled with colostrum. Colostrum is a nutrient dense milk full of anti-bodies to fight off disease. Your baby does not need much milk during the first few days of life, so your breasts make just enough! Somewhere between days 3-5 post-partum is when you will feel your breasts fill with a more abundant supply of milk. This is commonly referred to as the milk “coming in” but in reality, it is your milk changing from colostrum to a more mature milk. Wow! Who knew milk could be so mature?
Your baby’s tummy is tiny!
On baby’s first day of life, his stomach capacity will be about the size of a cherry holding just 5-10 ml of milk (think about the size of a teaspoon). By day three, baby’s stomach capacity increases to the size of a walnut holding about 22-27 ml (less than an ounce). When baby is 1 week old, his stomach will be about the size of an apricot holding about 45-60 ml (1.5-2 oz). As you can see, baby’s tummy grows with mom’s milk supply!
The “2nd Night Syndrome” is completely normal!
You may or may not have heard of the “2nd Night Syndrome”. This is the name some people give for the time when baby is ravenous and nursing frequently at the breast (also known as “cluster feeding”), which usually happens around the 2nd night of baby’s life. This normal process is baby’s way of telling your body to produce more milk. Some mom’s may worry that they do not have enough milk during this period and are tempted to feed formula but this is the crucial time for baby to empty your breasts frequently, increasing your milk supply! Hard work pays off in the long run. Frequent breastfeeding in the beginning can lead to a bigger and stronger milk supply in the future!
Breastfeeding may hurt!
It is possible that you may experience some pain on your nipples or in your breasts. Nipple and breast pain can be caused by various things such as the baby’s latch being too shallow or your breasts becoming engorged. If you have any nipple or breast pain in the hospital, ask to see the lactation consultant on staff. If you are home from the hospital and you begin feeling nipple or breast pain, contact a lactation consultant and schedule an appointment ASAP. This leads to our last and final topic!
Contacting a Lactation Consultant, AKA your new BREAST friend…
A lactation consultant is a certified professional that can help you and your baby throughout your breastfeeding experience. PediaTrust has lactation consultants on staff to support your throughout your journey! They are available by pone, email, and appointment, and we work closely with your pediatrician to ensure continuity of care for you and your baby. Lactation consultations can be scheduled at 5 different PediaTrust locations. PediaTrust will bill your insurance for your lactation consultant, although we cannot guarantee coverage. Most importantly, if you have questions about breastfeeding, have nipple or breast pain, or simply want your baby’s feedings assessed, call our lactation department at (847) 579-9237!