The First Few Weeks of Breastfeeding

In the first few days , the milk that you make in the first few days is called colostrum. It is yellow in color and rich in nutrition. Colostrum protects your baby from disease and gives her everything she needs. After three to five days , your milk will change to a bluish-white color and will be produced in greater amounts.

Let your baby nurse whenever he/she wants, day and night-usually about 10 to 12 times in 24 hours. Feeding often will get your milk flowing, help you make plenty of milk and help your baby grow. By four to five weeks, your baby will probably have a more regular feeding pattern and nurse less often.

Feeding cues - early signs that he is hungry - include:

  • Sucking on his hands
  • Smacking his lips
  • Moving his mouth
  • Moving his eyes while sleeping
  • Sleeping lightly after one or two hours of deep sleep

Don't wait until your baby is crying for a feed - that is a very late sign of hunger.

Here are some signs that your milk is flowing well:

  • A change in your baby's sucking rate from rapid sucks to sucking and swallowing rhythmically, at about one suck per second.
  • A tingling or pins-and-needles feeling in your breast.
  • A sudden feeling of fullness in the breast.
  • The other breast is leaking milk.
  • You've become thirsty.

Always wash your hands before breastfeeding, or pumping/expressing milk.

Avoid using a bottle or pacifier too soon, as it can get in the way of developing a good breastfeeding routine.

Adding extra foods like cereal, fruits and vegetables before six months of age is not recommended.