Baby's First Week

The first week is critical to exclusive breastfeeding success

From the moment they’re born, babies have an instinct to nurse. When a healthy newborn is placed on mom’s chest or stomach, he or she will often crawl to the breast on their own. Nursing is the number one source of comfort and security in the newborn’s world, so it’s no surprise that they want to do it a lot! For the first few days postpartum (and last few weeks of her pregnancy) a mother’s body makes colostrum, and this is what the baby eats until her milk comes in. Our birth assistants are all trained to assist new moms with latching their newborn, finding a nursing position that’s comfortable, expressing colostrum, and giving instructions for feeding frequency in the first 24 hours. Within 24-36 hours of giving birth at the birth center, mom and baby receive a home visit from a midwife, nurse, or lactation consultant, at which they receive more hands-on help with, and education on, breastfeeding. We work closely with clients’ pediatricians’ offices whenever anything is outside the norm.

We recommend to clients that they come in for a lactation check-in around the time their milk is coming in (day 3-5), because this is a timeframe where things can go off the rails a little. Engorgement can be an issue, and if the latch has not been good, this is about the time when nipples can become sore, raw, and/or cracked, which can make nursing intensely painful. Oversupply or undersupply can be an issue that needs managing, as does infant weight loss beyond normal limits. These things are critical to address in the first week, when demand and supply of breastmilk are being established, so that her supply doesn’t drop, she doesn’t spend too much time being engorged, and baby is getting enough of both foremilk and hindmilk, and gaining weight appropriately.

We can see moms and newborns in the office or on a home visit in the first week on usually 1-2 days’ notice. Even if you didn’t birth with our practice, you are welcome to come see one of our lactation consultants for issues or just for guidance. All insurance plans and payers accepted.

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