Baby’s first feed
Where possible its best to offer your baby the opportunity to breastfeed in the first hour after giving birth. Skin to skin contact after giving birth is a wonderful way to get to know your baby and give them an opportunity to find your breast and feed.
If you and your baby need to be separated for any reason, ask your health professionals for support to express, or have skin to skin contact with baby as soon as is practical.
At the moment you will be producing colostrum for your baby. This is a yellowish, sticky substance that contains lots of important nourishment for your baby. It is sometimes described as ‘liquid gold’ because it is so good for your baby.
It is highly concentrated so your baby only needs tiny amounts at a time, which is good because their tummies are only tiny too! As long as baby does 1 or 2 wee’s each day, that is a sign they are getting enough milk. Keeping track of the number of wet and dirty nappies can help your midwife to support you. This page contains information about what to expect in your baby’s nappy http://www.ifeedproject.co.uk/my-baby-is-here/feeding-my-baby/enough-milk/
In the first few days babies might like to feed very frequently. Responding to your baby’s cues for feeding frequently will help you establish your milk supply. Other babies might be feeling very sleepy after their experience of being born, and need encouragement to feed. Ask your midwife for support if you are worried about frequency of feeding.
Around day 3 or 4 your milk will change from colostrum to what is more recognisable as milk. You will be starting to make larger quantities and it will change colour to white-ish. Around this time your breasts may feel very full, warm and tender. Along with this you might experience some low mood, tearfulness, or mood swings. This is due to a big surge in your hormones and for most mums settles down in a day or two.
Your baby is still likely to need frequent feedings around the clock.
Around this time you will notice your baby’s poos will change in colour and texture. As they get softer and more yellowy that is a great sign that baby is getting plenty of milk.