Newborn babies nurse anywhere from 8-12 times a day and each session lasts about 20-45 minutes. That means you will be spending anywhere between 160-540 minutes breastfeeding every 24 hours! Yikes, that is a lot of time! If you want to know what to expect, what to do, and what to buy then read on!
Breastfeeding Newborn supplies!
Breastfeeding is unlike anything you have ever done before. You are going to need to stock up on a few essentials before you get started.
You will love these nursing bras for day time, they are soft and comfortable and provide just the right amount of support for those early nursing days! These ones are also well-loved by several of my friends. They didn’t come in my size but came highly recommended.
If you want some comfy bras for sleep time I really liked these.
If I can promise you anything it is that you will live in nursing tanks. They are so helpful with or without a nursing bra underneath. I usually also wore a nursing bra but I am also very large chested so I liked the double support. Target has really cute nursing tanks but these basic nursing tops from Amazon are great too!
Another lifesaver while breastfeeding is nursing pads.
You might want to try both the washable nursing pads as well as the disposable ones. I prefer the disposable ones for work and overnight because they are SUPER absorbent and I don’t have to worry about it for a few hours. The bummer about disposable nursing pads is that they create a lot of trash. Not only are you throwing away the nursing pads throughout the day but they also all come individually wrapped (From what I’ve found) which creates even more trash.
The con to the washable pads is that they don’t wick moisture away from your skin. As a result, I could really feel the dampness against my skin which I didn’t love.
The washable vs disposable debate is a tough one to sort out. I liked and disliked both types for different reasons. Try both options out and see what you prefer! Let me know if you have found disposable nursing pads that don’t come individually wrapped!
Grab my free Working Mom Printables!
My gift to you includes:
- Emergency Numbers
- Pump Bag Checklist
- Baby Schedules
- Pumping Logs
- To-do lists
- Daily Affirmations
- and more editable pages!
Despite what professionals tell you breastfeeding will hurt in the early days. My daughter’s latch was perfect (as attested by 3 different lactation consultants in the hospital) but it was still painful for the first 2 weeks. Nipple cream was a life saver. I used one that was similar to this. Be sure when buying nipple cream you only buy 100% lanolin. That’s the safest for a newborn baby.
Put it on right after breastfeeding and before you shower to protect your sore nipples. Be sure to start using it right away. Don’t wait for your nipples to get sore.
Fun fact you can also use it on your lips, eyebrows, and cuticles. It’s extremely moisturizing.
- 5 Pumping Essentials for the Working Mom
- Increasing Breastmilk Supply
- 5 Must-Have Items for Breastfeeding Mamas
- How to Store Breastmilk
Silicone Breast pump
A silicone breast pump is my #1 recommendation for breastfeeding. You can suction the pump onto one side while you nurse on the other and it catches your letdown plus a little more. This is milk that regularly just ends up getting soaked into a nursing pad so it’s great to be able to catch it and use it later.
I regularly got at least 1 ounce and in the mornings would get more like 3-4 ounces.
This was a great thing to use when you want to stock up on milk and build your supply. Read my post on how to store your supply.
This silicone breast pump is dishwasher safe, can hold up to 4 oz of breastmilk, and can even be used as a cup once Baby is old enough to drink from it. It is also hands-free. Although, watch out if your baby is kicking or waving her hands about. I had it go flying once with 2 ounces of breast milk in it. Whoops!
Optional: Nursing Pillow
I personally didn’t like using a nursing pillow. I preferred just to use a flatter pillow from the bed. However, most of my breastfeeding friends swear by
Okay, now that we have the products figured out, let’s move onto what to expect when breastfeeding a newborn!
What to expect when Breastfeeding a Newborn: The first 3 Days
The first milk your body will supply is colostrum. It’s incredibly thick and nutrient dense. It is often called “liquid gold” by lactation consultants and mamas alike. This is the only nutrients your baby needs during the first few days. Your body will produce colostrum for the first 2-5 days. After that, your body starts producing regular breastmilk. Read Mama Natural’s Post for more information about this liquid gold!
Tip #1: Try to Latch the baby immediately after birth
In the event of a regular vaginal birth, it is important to let baby try to latch immediately. Go skin to skin and baby might even try to latch on her own. You want to start signaling to your body to start making breastmilk.
If for some reason you can’t latch right away due to a c-section or baby being sent to the NICU don’t panic! Extra worry and anxiety will not help your breast milk production. In all things breastfeeding and milk production staying calm and relaxed is your number 1 end game.
Start using lanolin right away before you start to feel sore. It will help in the long run.
If you give birth in the hospital be sure to take advantage of the lactation consultants! Ask questions and have them check the baby’s latch. They are there to help you and are an excellent resource!
What to expect when Breastfeeding a Newborn: The first few weeks
When will your milk come in?
Sometime between 2-5 days after giving birth your milk will come in. This new milk replaces colostrum. Your breasts are likely to feel large and hard when your breastmilk comes in. To help relieve engorgement and to establish your breast milk supply be sure to nurse, nurse, nurse. All day every day (and night!)
Don’t worry this craziness won’t last forever! Put in the work now and enjoy the benefits of an established breastmilk supply and a happy baby!
Tip: If you do become engorged and/or get a clogged duct there are natural ways to relieve that before you skip straight to prescription medicine!
If your eyes glazed over during this post let me give you the highlights
- Stock yourself with the necessary supplies: nursing pads (either disposable or washable), nursing bras, nipple cream, silicone hand pump.
- Colostrum is liquid gold and will be baby’s first food, try to nurse immediately after birth
- When your milk comes in you might feel engorged. Take steps to relieve engorgement by nursing as much as possible.
- Use lanolin early and often to help prevent nipple pain and soreness
- Ask your hospital lactation consultants lots of questions!
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