Open Accessibility Menu

Establishing Your Milk Supply

During the first two weeks after delivery, your breast begins developing milk-making tissue. Frequent feedings help to increase the production of these tissues and the ability to produce enough milk in the future. After the first two weeks, your milk supply will be regulated by supply and demand. Your breast will produce as much milk as your baby needs. Skipping feedings may result in a lower supply. It may take several days of regular feedings or additional feedings to get your supply back to normal. This will increase your supply to meet your baby’s new needs.

Pacifiers and artificial nipples for breastfeeding infants

It is recommended that pacifiers and bottles should not be used during the first three to four weeks after birth. They require a different sucking skill than nursing does, which can cause nipple confusion when introduced before breastfeeding is well established. A pacifier may satisfy a baby’s urge to suck when he/she should be nursing. This can interfere with your milk supply.

Providing your NICU Baby with Breast Milk

Breast milk is especially beneficial to premature or sick babies. Many NICU babies are not ready to feed from the breast right away and it is important to begin pumping to provide your baby with breast milk and establish a good milk supply. Our NICU “pumping program” will give you the education and supplies necessary to get started.

Growth spurts occur around 10 days, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months.

Babies Need Only Breast Milk for the First Six Months

When you feed your baby only breast milk for the first six months of life, you will be providing a powerful defense against disease. Since infants do not develop a mature immune system until they are six months old, the antibodies a baby receives exclusively from breast milk is important to fight off infection. This is especially important for babies who will be attending daycare. The benefits of breast milk can help babies adapt easily and parents are less likely to miss work to care for their sick baby.

Continuing to Provide Breast Milk after Introducing Solid Foods

When you first start introducing solid foods, your baby will continue to get most of his nutrition from your milk. Most babies will have one solid meal at six months, two at seven months, three at eight months, and three meals plus snacks at nine months. To keep your milk supply up, offer breast milk before meals and upon waking. The benefits of breastfeeding can extend long after the first year and should be continued as long as it is desired by both the mother and the child.

Optional Infant Feeding

For mothers choosing to feed their baby infant formula, we will fully support your informed decision. Our knowledgeable staff will provide you with one-on-one instructions on safe formula handling and preparation. How much your baby eats and how often may vary. Remember to feed your baby when they show signs of hunger such as your baby beginning to move their head and mouth around or sucking on their fingers.

Related Videos
Related Physicians