Breastfeeding Tips for First Time Moms: How to Survive the First Few Days

If you are a first time mom, then you may be feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to breastfeeding. Don’t worry – you are not alone! Breastfeeding can be a bit difficult in the beginning, but with a little bit of practice, you will be able to do it like a pro. In this blog post, we will discuss some breastfeeding tips for first time moms that will help make the process a little bit easier.

Day 1 – First two hours

Here’s a list of a few things you’ll notice during the first couple of hours. These are also great times to abide by our tips below:

  • Hold your baby skin-to-skin. Baby will be awake and alert during this time.
  • This is often when your baby makes its way to the breast and eats well
  • Don’t worry mom, baby can breathe with his nose touching your breasts
  • Have the staff help you if needed. Latching isn’t always easy for baby or first time moms. This is a great time to take advantage of the great staff at your hospital.
  • After feeding, your baby will begin to sleep deeply.

Colostrum

Your early milk is referred to the term called colostrum. This is extremely nutritious milk that is heavy on all the essentials your baby needs. It’s so wonderful how our bodies were made to perform, isn’t it?

Your baby will only need a few drops of this nutrient-dense liquid. Colostrum is thick, yellow, and is baby’s superfood!

Day 1 – Hours 3-24

Baby will be very sleepy

Your babby will not need to eat much during this span. You may even need to wake your baby to feed. If your baby is struggling to latch during this time you can “express” (collect) milk into a spoon. Your baby can then feed from the spoon with your assistance.

Learn to latch

A good latch doesn’t hurt mom, but with this new way of feeding your baby, you may experience soreness at first. Some mothers experience soreness even longer if they become engorged.

A good tip for moms is to compress and massage your breasts while your baby eats so your breasts make more milk.

During this time, you can expect your baby to be in the room with you. In the first 24 hours, your baby will need to pee once and poop once as well.

There’s not too much eating during the first 24 hours either. Your baby only needs 1 tsp. of milk per feeding on day one.

A pro tip for all mom’s out there: Be sure to get some sleep while your baby is sleeping! Your going to be very busy and you’ll need to make sure you get proper rest for both you and baby.

Days 2-3

Cluster Feeding

During days 2-3 your baby will start feeding more frequently. It’s important that you feed at the first sign of hunger. Typically, just your baby being awake and/or sucking is a hunger cue.  

After you breastfeed your baby, your breasts will be empty and your body will know to make more milk.

We recommend you delay visitors until you return home with baby. As we mentioned in tip 5, getting all the rest you can is extremely important for mom and baby.

Make sure you refrain from giving a pacifier or formula during the first few days.

When your baby becomes fussy, try calming baby by using skin-to-skin contact.

One thing you may notice during days 2-3 is that your baby weighs less. 

Don’t worry mom, this is totally normal and you can expect about a 10% loss in weight during this time.

You will start to notice that your baby will start eating more per feeding. You can typically expect 3-4 tsp of milk each feeding. This will result in about two bowel movements and two “tinkles” during days two and three.

Days 3-5

Your mature breast milk will start to come in.

Most moms notice that their breasts feel heavy, full, and a bit achy. Don’t worry as they will soften once baby eats. As soon as your baby eats during this time they will almost always take a nap afterward.

Please do your best at feeding baby on demand which will be roughly 8 to 12 times per day.  

Your baby will start to slowly gain weight at this point.

tips for first time moms breastfeeding

What are Lactation Consultants and how can they help you?

If you’re a new mom, the prospect of breastfeeding can be daunting.

Where do you start?

How do you know if you’re doing it right?

Is your baby getting enough milk?

These are all common questions that new moms have.

Fortunately, there are lactation consultants who can help!

Lactation consultants are trained professionals who can help you with all aspects of breastfeeding, from latching to pumping to weaning.

They can also help you troubleshoot any problems that may come up. If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, or just want some guidance and support, a lactation consultant can be a valuable resource.

There are many ways to find a lactation consultant in your area. You can ask your doctor or midwife for a recommendation, or look for one on the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website. You can also find lactation consultants at many hospitals and birthing centers.

If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, or just want some extra support, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lactation consultant. With their help, you’ll be able to successfully breastfeed your baby and provide them with the best possible nutrition.

Sore Nipples from Breastfeeding

There are a few things that you can do in order to soothe your sore nipples.

The first thing you can do is make sure that your baby is latched on correctly. You want to make sure that they have a good seal around your nipple and are not biting or scratching you.

Below is a latch checklist by Noodle Soup. This is a great reference guide on getting the proper latch for baby.

If you think your baby is not latched on correctly, then ask a lactation consultant or your doctor for help.

Another thing you can do is use a lanolin cream or ointment on your nipples after each feeding. This will help to keep them moisturized and protected from the friction of nursing.

You can also try using breast shells during the day, which will protect your nipples from rubbing against your clothing.

If you are still having pain after trying these things, then you may want to talk to your doctor about other options. They may be able to prescribe a cream or ointment that will help to ease the pain.

Final thoughts

Breastfeeding can be a wonderful experience for both you and your baby.

However, it is not always easy.

There may be times when you are struggling and feel like you can’t do it. But remember, you are not alone.

There are many resources available to help you, including lactation consultants, doctors, and other breastfeeding mothers.

If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. With the right support, you’ll be able to successfully breastfeed your baby and provide them with the best possible nutrition.

For more great information on breastfeeding, bookmark Noodle Soup now.

Dennis Kubitz
Noodle Soup
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