Memorial Hermann - A New Beginning

Making Milk

Milk production is regulated by supply and demand. This means the more milk your baby takes from your breast, the more you’ll make. When breasts are empty, they make milk faster than when they’re full. So, start things off right by breastfeeding your baby as soon as possible after birth and then 8 or more times in the first 24 hours—including at night.

COLOSTRUM Colostrum is the first milk you’ll make while you’re pregnant. Though you make it for only a short time, colostrum plays an important role in your baby’s health. It’s easy to digest and produced in just the right amount for your baby’s small stomach. The more colostrum your baby gets, the more stool you’ll see in the baby’s diaper. And, yes, that’s a good thing.

MATURE MILK In about 1 to 3 days, your milk will change and increase in amount. This is when you start making mature milk. Feeding your baby often in these early days will help you make the amount of mature milk your baby needs.

GETTING READY TO BREASTFEED Begin each feeding with the 3 Cs:

Calm —Hold your baby skin-to-skin to make sure you’re both calm. Skin-to-skin also helps your baby stay warm and interested in breastfeeding.

Comfortable —Sit in a comfortable chair with pillows for support and elevate your legs with a stool. This will take pressure off your bottom and help you feel more comfortable.

Close —Hold and position your baby close. Instead of leaning over, bring the baby up to the level of your breast and have enough pillows for extra support.

How do I know if my baby is ready to breastfeed? When your baby’s ready to breastfeed, they’ll show feeding cues—signs they’re ready to feed. Rooming in and placing your baby skin-to-skin can help you learn their cues. Plus, you’ll be right there where you can respond to them quickly. If your baby’s crying, they may be too upset to breastfeed. When this happens, calm your baby first by gently rocking them side to side or through skin-to-skin.

licking lips

stirring or rooting (turning head side to side)

sucking movement of mouth and tongue

hands to mouth

fidgeting (moving arms and legs)

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Your Guide to Postpartum and Newborn Care

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