by Allison Micarelli-Sokoloff
September 20, 2011
These questions are at the top of every mother’s list. How much milk a mother makes depends on how much milk her baby needs. But rest assured that nearly every mother makes just the right amount at just the right time to satisfy her baby’s needs.
Mothers are often surprised to see how quickly their milk supply increases during the first 3–5 days after birth. What may seem like small amounts of milk at first turns out to be exactly what newborn babies need. Frequent feedings (8–12 times in each 24 hour period) ensures that each mother’s milk supply matches the needs of her growing baby.
Most newborns are quiet but alert for the first hour or two after birth. This gives moms and babies a chance to practice what will be a most important skill—breastfeeding. In the days and weeks that follow, don’t wait for your baby to fuss or cry before you offer the breast (crying is actually a late sign of hunger); instead watch for these early signs of hunger:
These first days and weeks will give you an opportunity to learn your baby’s feeding cues and feeding patterns, including signs that your baby is hungry or full. Should you see signs that your baby may not be getting enough to eat, contact your baby’s health care provider right away.
View our slideshow to learn all the signs your baby is getting enough to eat.
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