7 Days to 6 Weeks
Your baby’s stomach size is increasing from the size
of a walnut to the size of an egg.
Small feeds keep the baby more comfortable and growing
well. Let your baby guide how often and how long he
nurses (at least 8 times in 24 hours).
Babies grow in spurts. The first growth spurt
occurs within 10 to 14 days after birth. This is an important time
to establish full breastfeeding. Your body is adjusting to making
milk. Your breasts will soften and may become smaller. This is normal.
Express some milk if there is too much milk in your breast for
your baby to take comfortably. Too much milk too fast may upset
your baby (see Troubleshooting).
You will know baby is learning to breastfeed
well if he or she:
- starts to gain weight by day 5
- regains his birth weight by 10 days
- is gaining 115 gram per week between 2 weeks and 4 months
Does my baby need more than my milk?
Your healthy full term breastfed baby can rely on you alone.
He also has stores of nutrients that he was born with, including
iron. This will last until he starts eating solids well between
6 and 9 months.
Friends or relatives may suggest other foods to feed your baby,
such as sugar water, traditional newborn foods, formula baby food
or infant cereal. These will interfere with your milk supply.
They will also keep your baby from getting all the benefits of
Being hungry and thirsty are signs that your body is producing
- Be sure to eat regularly and often. Eat when you are hungry.
- Drink plenty of fluids. You know you are getting enough if
your urine is pale.
- Drink mostly water. Fruit juices, soups and milk are also
good sources of fluids.
It only takes basic foods to make breastmilk.
Eat small meals throughout the day to boost for your energy.
- 5 or more servings of grains (breads, pasta, cereals),
- 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruits per day,
- foods such as milk, dairy or soy foods, fish or meat help to
round out your diet,
- foods such as eggs, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, tofu, canned
legumes (beans or lentils) can be eaten instead of meat.
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide can
provide you with more information.
The taste of your milk is changed by the foods you eat. It helps
your baby learn to like many different tastes. There are usually
no foods to avoid. Some mothers may discover that some foods in
their diets affect their nursing infants. Foods such as dairy products,
orange juice or coffee can upset some infants. Avoid eating these
foods for a few days to see if this makes a difference.
Do I have to drink milk to make milk?
No. It is just easier to get calcium and vitamin D if you drink
milk or eat milk products. If you do not drink milk, you may want
to talk to your Public Health Nutritionist or a dietitian about
other sources or supplements.
Learning to breastfeeding is work for both you and the
baby! It can feel like hard work.
It is the physical work of feeding your baby often, day and night,
along with caring for and comforting your baby. It is also the emotional
work of becoming a mother, a parent and becoming a family.
These changes can create emotional tensions that can make breast
feeding feel like hard work. Notice if you are feeling tired, lonely,
or sad. Reach out to your partner, your family and friends, to other
nursing mothers to support you through these life changes.