Birth Facts - Breastfeeding: A Supply & Demand Business
And your little newborn is a good customer!

Breastfeeding: A Supply & Demand Business


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And your little newborn is a good customer!

Our bodies are so magnificent at making what our babies need to grow and thrive. In the beginning, breastfeeding is a round-the-clock experience as your baby helps to regulate your supply. So in order to help nature, keep your baby by your side.

Ideally, your baby should not be separated from you once he/she is born unless medically necessary. Most medical procedures can be done while your baby is skin-to-skin on your tummy. Once baby is born he/she can go straight onto your chest. Skin-to-skin contact with your baby after birth triggers their innate responses.

Most babies will start searching and latching for the first breastfeed within the first hour. Give your baby this time and chance to use their instincts to find your breast and to self-attach. You will be amazed just how clever your little one is!

If your baby is not attaching initially, you may help a little bit by guiding him/her to your breast. Your midwife or lactation consultant can help guide you or even demonstrate how to attach your baby on a doll. If you are in a hospital, choose to “room in”. That way, your baby is with you 24 hours a day unless medically indicated. Again, this supports you and your baby’s natural hormonal “orchestra” and is very important in establishing a successful breastfeeding journey.

It is also important to watch your baby, not the clock! Let your baby set the pace and feed your baby on demand. This means feeding your baby when he/she is hungry, not restricting feeds by frequency or duration. Watch for your baby’s subtle feeding cues such as licking lips or turning its head to the side with open mouth.

Newborn babies should feed around 8 to 12 times a day, though some babies will feed more. Remember, newborn stomachs are very little and prefer multiple smaller snacks rather than just a few large meals. The first few weeks of life for your newborn are all about putting on lots of weight and adjusting to being on the outside. Support this process and keep your milk supply flowing with lots of skin-on-skin, rest for the both of you, lots of feeding and good nutritious food.

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