Breastfeeding Newborn Guide

Nursing Newborn Babies

Welcome new mommy! I hope that this page will encourage you and cause you to have a wonderful, successful breastfeeding & bonding experience. 

Page content links:

* What to expect.

* Tips for nursing a newborn.

* How often and for how many minutes should I breastfeed?

* Is my newborn drinking enough?

* Early feeds video

Crib card download for those that would like to ensure that their babies are not supplemented unnecessarily...

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Right-click to download the crib card for your breastfed baby.

What to Expect After Birth

  • Your breasts will be producing small amounts of colostrum. Your mature milk will usually come in between day 3 and 5 after birth. As you continue to breastfeed, your milk supply will increase. Read the stages of lactation to get a clearer understanding of how this works. 
  • Some mothers feel a tingling sensation in the breast when a let down occurs, this is when your milk begins to flow and may occur several times during each feeding.

Tips for Newborn Nursing

  • Position your baby, so that his/her tummy and legs are facing you; skin on skin contact between you and your baby is vital. Babywearing and kangaroo care are recommended. 
  • Breast compressions during breastfeeding can help with milk flow and will also help increase your milk supply.
  • Having a warm shower or bath before breastfeeding will help increase the flow of your milk.
  • Get as much of your areola and the whole of your nipple into your baby’s mouth for a good latch
  • Lying down while breastfeeding and co-sleeping can help you rest, recuperate and relax. 
  • During the first few weeks, you will need to burp your baby quite often, I recommend burping your baby at least every 10 minutes while breastfeeding. Doing this will help decrease cramps, spitting up and colic symptoms in your baby.
  • Try to nurse your baby as early as possible, preferably within an hour of birth. 
  • Drink plenty of water and eat well. Breastfeeding diet guidelines. 
  • Do not give your breastfed newborn any supplements or liquids, especially not during the first few weeks, until your own milk supply has been established. When is it okay to supplement my breast milk?
  • Try to keep away from the breast pump until your milk is established, except for if you are pumping in between feedings to increase your milk supply.
  • Your baby may experience a growth spurt between 7 and 10 days from birth, which will cause your baby to drink more often
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How Often do I Need to Feed my Newborn?

And How Long Should a Newborn Nurse?

You cannot feed your baby too often but should feed him/her at least 8 - 12 times per 24 hours. Your baby should be actively sucking and swallowing for at least 20 minutes with each breastfeeding session. 

After two weeks, a mother can start to feed her baby when he/she signals to be fed, but babies under two weeks generally need to be woken up for feedings every two hours during the day, and every 4 hours at night.

Encourage a sleepy baby to breastfeed.

Nursing frequently will increase your supply and help prevent engorgement

Is my Newborn Breastfeeding Enough?

If your newborn is:

  • Producing bowel movements and urinating the recommended times per day.
  • Is gaining enough weight according to age.
  • And seems happy most of the time, you don’t need to worry.

The normal output of urine/dirty diapers per age.

Normal weight gain, according to age. 

Other telltale signs that your baby is drinking enough milk.

Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding. It’s not always easy in the beginning, but it will get simpler as you and your baby become more comfortable and experienced at breastfeeding.

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