Breastfeeding is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. It is a very natural process, but it does not always come naturally. Successfully nursing in the first few days is essential to successfully nursing your baby. Ask for help, ask lots of questions and be selfish. It's okay to kick vistors out of the room when your baby is ready to nurse.
The first feeding will consist of colostrum. This substance provides all the nutrients and fluid that your baby needs and will sustain your baby in the first few days of life until your milk "comes in" on day 3 or 4. Babies are born with a sucking reflex, so introduce your baby to the breast within the first hour of life. Milk supply follows the rules of supply and demand. The more you nurse, the more milk you will produce, but it may take 3-4 days to see this response. It is normal for babies to lose weight in the beginning, but when faced with a crying hungry baby, it is very easy to jump to the conclusion that you are not making enough milk. Rely on your nurses, request a lactation consultant or call the office before becoming overwhelmed. Download ibaby, a great app for tracking your feedings if you are looking for a little more help.
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- thawed breast milk may be stored at room temperature for up to 3-4 hrs and in the refrigerator ( < 39°F) for up to 24 hrs