Feeding Your Newborn
While feeding a baby may seem straightforward, you can do plenty of things as a parent of a newborn to make sure you're providing your baby with nutrition in the best possible way.
- There are different positions you can put the baby in while you breastfeed. One position may work best at some points and another position at other points.
- The process involves trial and error while paying attention to how your baby is feeding. Talk to other moms who are breastfeeding.
- When your baby latches initially, it will pinch a little. Once they are latched on properly, it won't hurt. If it does, change the baby's position and try again.
- There are also YouTube videos online that offer helpful tips.
- You can tell if your baby is getting breastmilk by watching how they swallow.
- Follow-up visits are important because your doctor will measure your baby's weight, which will increase the more they eat.
- At first, don't pump unless you're having a problem with too little breastmilk. You want to feed your baby directly. The bonding time is important and your body figures out how to make enough milk.
- After a couple of weeks, it's okay to start pumping.
- You'll likely have the most milk in the morning, so pump after your baby's morning feeding.
- If you return to work, you can start pumping full-time.
- For breastmilk storage, remember 66—six days in the fridge, six months in a regular freezer.
- Taste your breastmilk right after it's expressed. Then, if you're uncertain if stored milk is good or not, you can taste it. If it tastes the same, it's likely fine to use.
- Infant formulas contain about the same number of calories per ounce as breastmilk.
- If you think your baby has an intolerance to formula, check their stool. It's okay if it's runny and brown, orange, yellow or green. It's not normal to have mucus or blood in it.
- Babies typically won't gain weight if they are intolerant to formula, another sign.
How Much to Feed Baby
- Your baby should urinate as many times as they are days old until they're four days old, and then at least four times a day after that.
- Their stools should go from black sticky to green and then yellow.
- Feed baby at least every two or three hours.
- It's normal for mother's milk not to be present right away. Colostrum, the first secretion from breasts after giving birth, is rich in antibodies and comes in first; then, milk flows after.
- Actual feeding time will depend on each baby. Sometimes they'll feed so frequently that it will feel like they're feeding all the time. Other times they may feed for four hours straight.
- Wake your newborn every three hours to feed.
While all this feeding may feel overwhelming, enjoy this special bonding time with your baby. Ask any parent and they will tell you that the newborn phase is gone before you know it!