The First Month

Breastfeeding physiology is based on supply and demand. The initial feed should happen within the first hour of life, followed by regular feeds “on demand.” “On demand” means to feed the baby when he or she appears to be hungry based on feeding cues, signs that the baby is hungry such as looking around with an open mouth. Usually babies need to be fed on demand eight to twelve times every twenty-four hours. After delivery, your breasts will initially produce a thick, yellowish liquid packed with antibodies that is called colostrum. Two to five days after birth, colostrum is then replaced by milk. It generally takes a full month for a mother-infant pair to establish a stable milk supply. During the first few months of breastfeeding, your breasts will be much larger than they were pre-pregnancy and they may leak milk either frequently or infrequently, even when you are not nursing.

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