Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Immediately After Birth

Hopefully this is a question that can be answered easily. I am curious about something and cannot seem to find a real "answer". It seems to me the majority of women will need to practice patience in breastfeeding as it can take up to 2 weeks for milk to "come in". If that's the case, why do the hospital nurses seem to force-breast-feed every 2 hours no matter what? I am due mid-November and have 2 friends who have just gone through this scenario themselves. Neither had milk upon delivering their babies, both were all but forced to allow needless suckling from their babies only to lead to cracked, dry and even bleeding nipples. I'm sure I'm missing something here so please enlightmen me. Much thanks.

Re: Breastfeeding Immediately After Birth

  • You have colostrum by time which is really important for baby.  It is also a great time for baby (and you) to get comfortable with this process so that it's natural and easy when your milk does come in.  I did this when I had DS in May, and really enjoyed that bonding time with him.  The hospital should give you lanolin which really helps.  You could also take the gel pads that they sell (great relief!).  If you notice that you are starting to get sore, say something.  The lactation consultant at the hospital might be able to help you figure out how to avoid getting so sore (may be an incorrect latch). 

  • Babies get colostrum after birth which is beneficial to them. Their bellies are tiny so it only takes a little to fill them up. It's also the time for LO to get a good latch and to get help from an LC if needed.
    Also putting the baby to your breasts on a regular basis encourages your milk to come in. I didn't have cracked or bleeding nipples though.
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  • image lil_jen051708:
    Babies get colostrum after birth which is beneficial to them. Their bellies are tiny so it only takes a little to fill them up. It's also the time for LO to get a good latch and to get help from an LC if needed. Also putting the baby to your breasts on a regular basis encourages your milk to come in. I didn't have cracked or bleeding nipples though.

    Exactly this.

    Plus, newborns get very hungry right after delivery. I nursed 45 minutes after delivery.

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  • image lil_jen051708:
    Babies get colostrum after birth which is beneficial to them. Their bellies are tiny so it only takes a little to fill them up. It's also the time for LO to get a good latch and to get help from an LC if needed. Also putting the baby to your breasts on a regular basis encourages your milk to come in. I didn't have cracked or bleeding nipples though.

    This. Baby is hungry and needs the colostrum. Baby also needs to nurse so your milk comes in. If you don't have any weird delivery issues it does not take 2 weeks for your milk to come in.  

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  • FTM here but here's what I learned in my BFing class:

    1) You have colostrum at the beginning, it is calorie-dense AND full of your antibodies, so it's like super-food for the baby.

    2) The baby's stomach on Day 1 is the size of one teaspoon.  They don't eat much but need to eat frequently.

    3) It's important to get help from nurses & LCs while still at the hospital to establish a good latch and correct positions.  Obviously, your friends didn't have a good latch as they shouldn't end up with cracked/bleeding nipples.  Having more practice while in the hospital w/help from LCs will help with correct latching and avoid problems once you go home.

    4) skin-to-skin at the start helps with bonding with the baby.  Your baby had just spent the last 9 months INside your body.  They crave close contact with mom ...

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  • Just to add to all the responses - I absolutely LOVED the first time the recovery nurses put K on my chest to nurse. I had a c section and I was still in recovery room pretty much numb from waist down. They put this teeny tiny thing on my chest and she clamped right on my boob like she's been doing it forever. I will never forget that!
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  • Please read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. There is a lot of great info there. It's like the bible of breastfeeding.

    Kellymom dot com is a fantastic resource as well

    "Needless sucking" is breast stimulation that encourages milk to come in. Avoiding bottles and pacifiers is crucial in the first few days bc your baby needs to be on that boob as much as possible. Of course, some babies may need formula or pumped milk for medical reasons.

    Get a lactation consultant to visit you before you leave the hospital to help with the latch. Poor latch leads to sore nips. And make sure that the nurse is a LC. Most RNs don't get much training on breastfeeding sadly and can give bad advice

    Trust your body
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  • Ditto to all PP's. Early on something I really had to get used to was the idea that breastfeeding is not just about nutrition for my son. I found this quote on Kelly Mom that is always a wonderful reminder to me that I am feeding him so much more than food.  When I think about those first nights in the hospital, he latched on for hours and hours and as a new mom I thought "woah, he is eating for three hours!"...silly me:) Of course in hindsight I realize my little man was comfort sucking adjusting to the big scary world outside the womb.

    ?You are not a pacifier; you are a Mom. You are the sun, the moon, the earth, you are liquid love, you are warmth, you are security, you are comfort in the very deepest aspect of the meaning of comfort"

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  • Milk usually comes in 3-5 days PP. and putting baby to the breast immediately and often is the best way to make sure that supply comes in.
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  • image theresat858:
    Milk usually comes in 3-5 days PP. and putting baby to the breast immediately and often is the best way to make sure that supply comes in.


    I agree with this. My milk came in on day 3...not sure where you got 14 from. And yes your nipples will probably be sore but you just push through the pain and it will eventually get better.
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  • I think the "forced breastfeed" also helps the mom get used to the idea that this is what bf'ing is going to be like. Baby is going to be hungry every few hours, even at night, for the next month or two at least. Getting used to it from the beginning (we roomed in) really helped me adjust and allowed me the strength to get through the first two months (after which LO started sleeping more at night).
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