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Breastfeeding 101

Breastfeeding gets easier in the first two weeks, and becomes part of your everyday routine. 

The following are some of the initial challenges you may face and answers to questions you may have.

Try the breastfeeding quiz!

A deep latch will minimize sore nipples.

  • Baby has a wide open mouth
  • Lips are flanged at the breast
  • You are comfortable
  • You can hear swallowing and suckling
  • A happy baby
  • At 2 days old, your baby will have “feeding frenzies” or cluster feedings
  • He/she will act fussy and want to feed very often
  • This is the result of growth spurts
  • These growth spurts typically occur at day of life 3, 10, 14 and monthly
  • This is a very tiring time!
  • These are normal and your baby is stimulating your milk supply to “come in” and you are helping your baby grow!
  • Breast milk is easily digested, your newborn will need to feed every 1-3 hours or 8-12 times a day
  • Each feeding session is 30-45 minutes. Allow your baby to feed on demand.
  • You can never spoil a baby by hugging him/her or offering the breast
  • Your baby will have 1 wet and 1 stool diaper for each day of life
  • Once your baby is 4 days old, he/she will have 6-8 wet and stool diapers a day
  • Your baby will be content after feeding and appear relaxed
  • Incorrect positioning and sucking trauma are frequent causes of sore nipples
  • Your nipples will feel tender for the 1st 2-4 days after birth
  • They will be tender in the beginning of a feeding as the baby stretches the nipple and areolar tissue
  • If the baby is positioned well, the tenderness will subside
  • This should disappear within a day or two
  • Nipple soreness that worsens or lasts beyond the 1st week is a concern
  • Call the lactation warm line at 275-9575 with any concerns
  • 2-5 days after birth, your breasts will transition to mature milk and become fuller. During this time, you may experience discomfort and difficulties with latching-on.
  • Warm compresses prior to nursing will assist  the let-down reflex and cold compresses will help relieve discomfort.
  • You may need to utilize a breast pump prior to feeding to assist with latching on.
  • If you develop a fever and reddened breasts, you may have mastitis (a breast infection). Call your OB/GYN for evaluation.

Early Signs

“I’m Hungry”
  • Stirring/moving around
  • Opening mouth (licking or smacking lips)
  • Rooting (turning head to the side with an open mouth)

Mid Signs

“I’m really hungry”
  • Stretching
  • Moving more
  • Putting hand to mouth

Late Signs

"Calm me, then feed me”
  • Crying
  • Moving a lot!
  • Won't latch