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). Your baby will continue to wake up to feed at night. Keep your baby in your room and close to you at night to make feeding easier. Make sure that night feedings are in a safe location. Try to rest and sleep during the day, because you will be awake at night. If you get very sleep deprived, you may be tempted to make some unsafe choices to get some sleep. Perinatal Servisces of BC has a good parent resource: Safer Infant Sleep. The Infant Sleep Institute has good information on normal infant sleep and safe alternatives. AlsoLa Leche League has good information for safe sleep that supports breastfeeding.
The first growth spurt occurs at about 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. You will see another growth spurt between 4-6 weeks of age. During a growth spurt, your baby will want to feed more frequently for 2-3 days, day and night, until your milk supply adjusts. This happens again at about 3 months and 6 months. Hang in there!
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 your milk. They are not necessary
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 anxiety and tension that can make breastfeeding feel like hard work. Notice if you are feeling tired, lonely, or sad. Reach out to your partner, your family and friends, and to other nursing mothers to support you through these life changes.
Rest and sleep when you can. Take some time for you to feel happy.
Your body is healing and getting used to breastfeeding. Your body’s way of dealing with this is to increase your need for sleep. The hormones of breastfeeding will make you feel relaxed and sleepy as well.
Your baby will be waking and feeding frequently through the nights - keep the time when your baby sleeps for yourself.
Be patient with your recovery. It can take time.