What you can expect the first 24 hours of breastfeeding.
My story: I can only speak from the experience of my c-section. Once I arrived in recovery my baby was latched on with the assistance of the nurse. Since I had a csection we did the football hold nursing position. She nursed for about 20-25 minutes. There was probably nothing coming out, maybe a few drops of colostrum. Then that was it for quite a while. Once I was in my room I attempted to nurse her every few hours but she was not interested. I asked the nurse for assistance a few times and she helped me latch. I was thinking oh my goodness what is wrong, why is she having a hard time latching, does this mean I won’t be able to breastfeed? Why is she not interested.
here is why your baby won’t be interested in nursing the first day:
A newborn baby’s stomach is so tiny and can only hold a few drops at a time. Which is great since you don’t have milk that first day. In addition there tummy is already filled with some amniotic fluid that was probably swallowed during labor and delivery. Because of this they are usually sleepy and not very interested in latching on or nursing that first day. Every single nurse, doctor, lactation consultant that came in my room in the first 24 hours assured me that my baby was fine and it was totally normal for her to not be interested in nursing the first day, but that by the next night she would begin cluster feeding and that would bring my milk in. So I continued to try to nurse and she may have latched and nursed a little here and there but by the next night she was nursing non stop for what felt like hours. As a result by 48 hours my boobs were heavy and my milk was in!
Day One Tips:
- If a certain position is not working for you, try something else. The football hold is suggested for c-section moms but it did not feel natural to me and it was uncomfortable so I did what I felt was right based on my experience with breastfeeding my first child and did the cross cradle hold using my boppy pillow.
- Don’t stress about not having anything coming out the first day whether you are nursing or pumping. This is NORMAL!
- Make it clear that you intend to breastfeed while you’re in labor or when preparing for a c-section. When they asked if i was breastfeeding I said yes and no one offered me formula during my entire hospital stay.
- Watch your baby for signs of hunger, rooting is a top indicator. Crying is usually a late sign.
- Colostrum is liquid gold and every drop counts!
- Your baby will probably be very sleepy that first day of life and not very interested in latching on. Try to latch every 2 or 3 hours and if they are not hungry then that’s okay. They will be ready by the next day.
- Ask Ask Ask as many questions as you need to.
- Get help with latching, until you are comfortable and confident that you can do it alone.
- Be sure you request to see someone from lactation before you leave the hospital. I actually saw someone about 3 or 4 times while I was there.
- If possible, keep your baby in your room and at your bedside.
- If you’re delivering at a birthing center or at home, your midwife or doula will probably be able to help you with getting started with breastfeeding.
My experience with my first daughter was different because she was in the NICU so I started pumping as soon as someone from lactation came to visit me. My milk came in around day 3 for my preemie and I exclusively pumped for 3 weeks until I was able to start nursing her at the breast.
What are your tips for the first day? What was your personal experience the first 24 hours with your newborn.