5 Things to Know about Breastfeeding
1. It takes around 3-5 days to get your full milk volume.
After your baby is born and the placenta is delivered your hormone shift begins. It takes a few days for everything to be where it needs to. Colostrum should be enough in most cases. Babies’ tummies are about the size of a marble the first day.
2. Your baby will help establish your milk supply
Babies nurse very frequently, especially the first few days. This helps your body get the milk making process in order. Nurse your baby as frequently as possible. Hand expressing your milk in addition to nursing or pumping can increase your supply (https://med.stanford.edu/newborns/professional-education/breastfeeding/hand-expressing-milk.html)
3. Keeping babies skin to skin allows them to nurse more frequently
If a baby is wrapped up and placed in a crib or held they are less likely to show feeding cues such as sucking on hands or rooting. If they are skin to skin they are warm, can smell the breast and the mother’s oxytocin (hormone that helps push milk out) levels will be higher.
4. Breastfeeding may be a natural way to feed your baby but it may not come as naturally as you expect.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Many hospitals have Lactation Consultants and once discharged from the hospital there may be Lactation Consultants in your community that can help as well.
5. There are very few medications that are contraindicated when breastfeeding.
Seek information from a Lactation Consultant and your baby’s pediatrician if you are wondering about medications you are currently taking or may need to take.