What should I expect during my first week of breastfeeding?
Now that your baby is in your arms, you might feel overwhelmed with breastfeeding at this point! Take it one feeding at a time! It is normal and ideal for your baby to feed between 8-12 times per day.
- Your transitional milk is likely in by this time, and your baby might feed more often and for longer periods. Continue to feed your baby as much as possible!
- Your baby should have close to 6 or more wet diapers and 3-4 or more poopy diapers per day at 7 days old.
- Your baby will likely wake up several times per night to feed. This is important! Your baby digests your milk quickly, and its tummy is about the size of a ping-pong ball. If your baby tends to sleep more than 3 hours at a time, wake them to feed every 3 hours during the first few weeks. This will help get breastfeeding off to a good start.
- Your breasts might start to feel very full at this time. They might be hard and tender. It is important to let your baby feed very frequently to help with this fullness. If your baby has a hard time latching, it can help to hand express for a few minutes to soften the nipple area before attempting to latch.
- It is recommended not to pump for breast fullness since this can damage the delicate breast tissue. It is best to let your baby breastfeed more frequently to lessen breast fullness. However, if you are exclusively pumping, be sure to pump regularly (every 2-3 hours, or at least every time your baby has a bottle).