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Among the most important things that first-time parents look for are newborn breastfeeding tips. After all, we want them to get enough nourishment so they grow strong and healthy. But as someone who knows close to nothing about breast milk and baby needs, what are the most important things to take note of?
Newborn Breastfeeding Tips and Fast Facts
When your baby is finally out into the world, when everything is starting to sink in, you begin to think of all the things you’d want to show them, all the wonderful food you’d like them to try.
But let’s slow down a little.
Your baby is less than one day old. You can’t expect this tiny human to gobble everything down their path for nourishment. In fact, they are so tiny that during their first 24 hours, their stomach is the size of a marble that can hold up to 5 ml of liquid.
So that’s the first important fact you need to remember: Your baby has a tiny stomach.
How much breastmilk does a newborn need during the first 24 hours?
If they have such tiny stomachs, maybe we should just skip feeding them anything right? Maybe let’s wait until they’re really hungry until we give them some breast milk.
No, you have to feed them right away with the first drops of breast milk that you have because guess what? It contains wonders.
Those first few drops of breast milk are actually what we call the colostrum and mothers produce that only once: right after the baby is born.
What’s so special about it?
It contains all sorts of nutrients that you wouldn’t want to miss giving your child, but more importantly, it provides them with the antibodies they need. Remember that your baby is still this tiny human with a tiny stomach? They also have tiny ability to protect themselves from harm.
The antibodies coming from your colostrum will give their immune system a boost. Another great thing about it is it has laxative properties. Your baby will need this to expel meconium, their first poop, which will appear dark in color.
Now, after that, you don’t have to worry too much about not producing that much milk or not being able to feed your baby often because, again, they have a small digestive system and therefore, they don’t need that much.
A lot of moms are so worried about this and you should know that your milk won’t start coming out at a considerable rate until your baby’s 3rd to the 5th day.
Newborn Feeding Chart
There are a lot of feeding charts (like the one below) that you can find online and they’re a great help. They can give you an idea of how much your baby will be needing and such.
But they’re only that: a guide. Newborn feeding amounts vary from child to another and at the end of the day, what you should be paying attention to is your baby’s feeding cues.
There are different ways with which babies express their hunger. The most common ones are sucking on their fingers or mouth movements that mimic sucking. Now, you might associate crying with being hungry and in a sense, that’s correct. However, you can prevent this from happening by noticing and acting on their early, more peaceful cues.
Remember, mums and dads. You may find the best newborn feeding chart out there but the only thing that can help you in feeding your baby is to observe what they’re trying to express.