In the early days after hospital discharge one of the most concerning issues to any new parent is confirmation that their baby is gaining weight. In the first instance your baby can loose up to 10% of their birthweight, this is not uncommon and certainly no cause for concern. The community midwife will arrange several home visits to monitor your baby’s weight over a two week period and in most cases your baby will be back to birthweight and beyond by day fourteen.
The type of delivery you choose will impact exactly when your breast milk comes in. If you have a planned Caesarian it may take a little bit longer for your milk to arrive. After a natural delivery you can usually expect your milk to come in on day four or five, however your colostrum can be harvested even before you meet your baby.
I would usually recommend offering your baby a little formula top up until your baby is back to birthweight, this will offer peace of mind especially if your baby arrives earlier than planned.
Our Top Tips to help you establish successful breastfeeding
- Try to avoid expressing for the first two weeks. Let your baby take the lead on supply and demand when breastfeeding.
- Wake and feed your baby three hourly in every 24 hr period.
- If you have a bigger baby they may prefer sleeping for longer periods at night.
- Regular three hourly feeds will help your baby to remain hydrated and return to birthweight within two weeks.
- If your baby has issues latching or you have cracked, bleeding or inverted nipples I highly recommend nipple shields.
Breastfeeding takes time to establish and can be very tiring for your baby. I would recommend feeding for ten minutes on each side to begin with with a break in the middle to wind and change nappy if necessary and then slowly increase the amount of time on each breast and slowly reduce the amount of top-up. As your baby grows stronger he will naturally feed for longer periods.