Congratulations! You’re having a baby! There is no doubt that you have done enough preparation for labor and delivery to be an expert, but how much do you really know about breastfeeding? It is next level for sure.  Here are some ideas for what to expect and how you can ensure a happy breastfeeding journey as you enter motherhood.

Right after delivery, your baby will be placed on your breasts. Within the first hour or two, the baby will latch. Baby should latch 8-12 times every 24 hours for the first few weeks. During the first few days, your breasts will produce colostrum, a very small volume of concentrated superfood. By day 3-5, your “milk will come in” and you’ll notice your breasts feel fuller. Keeping a diaper count and breastfeeding log is important.

On the first day, your baby should pass at least one meconium (tar-colored) stool and have one wet diaper. On day two, expect two stools, slightly lighter in color and two wets. On day three, your baby should have three stools and three wets. By day four through seven, your baby should have three or more yellow, unformed, seedy stools and five or more wet diapers. You will know if your baby is getting enough milk by the number of diapers, the color of stool and the baby’s weight.

To achieve an effective latch, hold your baby closely to your body and wait for them to open their mouth very wide to take the nipple and breast tissue into the mouth. Letting your baby latch onto just the nipple will hurt you and your baby will not get much milk.

Consult a Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who can meet with you prior to delivery and within the first week after your baby is born. A board certified IBCLC has years of extensive education and clinical training.  Be aware that any person who completes an online course and has zero clinical experience in the field of lactation can get a certificate. Research education and credentials and hire the professional you feel most confident with. Best wishes to you and your family!


Jean Tretler RN IBCLC Lactation Associates of St Augustine

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