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Breastmilk in the hospital stay - Colostrum

"My baby is not getting enough milk" is one of the most common statements I hear in hospital.

It is completely normal to be worried or anxious that your new born is not feeding enough or not getting enough "milk" if you simply can't see "milk" overflowing out of your nipples.

So what are some signs your baby is getting enough?

  • Good output: Wet and soiled nappies

  • No significant weight loss: Anything more than 10% of their birth weight requires a feeding plan. For instances, your baby's birth weight is 3000g and they are re-weighed at now 2650g which is a loss of 350g - this is more than 10% of their birth weight.

Important points to remember:

  • Your "milk" won't start coming in until day 3-4. For some it comes earlier and others later. BUT this does not mean that you should delay the start of breastfeeding. I know it sounds counterintuitive. Why feed the baby when there is no milk? This is because baby and mommy need to learn how to breastfeed by breastfeeding. Your body starts producing milk when your baby keeps asking for more.

  • Your colostrum is nutrient and caloric dense. Despite the low volume, it is enough for baby. Here comes the mantra for new moms "I'm enough."

  • Your baby's stomach is still as small as a cherry.

Did you know that it's important to remove milk as soon as you gave birth? The sooner you do, the sooner your milk will come in and there will be more of it! Such a simple principle for such amazing results.

Your body needs to know that your baby will be feeding from the breast. If you don't remove milk right away, your body assumes there’s no demand and will prioritise other bodily functions before making breast milk.

Be patient with yourself and your little one. Ask for help early and feed regularly, this is the best way to bring in your milk.

Everyone's journey is different

Everyone's labour is different

Everyone's pregnancy is different

Remember this is a ROUGH GUIDE. Because things aren't always to plan and smooth sailing! ESPECIALLY when it comes to pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding. Try not to compare yourself to others. You are doing an amazing job!

Skin to skin is great too, if baby refuses your breast, but removing the milk (colostrum) is the key!

If your baby is very sleepy and won't latch, keep them skin-to-skin and hand express. Get help from your partner, nurse or lactation consultant.

Information provided by Michelle Lok, International Board of Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)


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