Initiating Breastfeeding after Birth
Breastfeed your baby as soon as possible following delivery. Skin-to-skin contact and frequent feedings will help get your new baby settled into the world. Many studies show the benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby. Breastfeeding will help you lose weight and bond with your baby and help your baby by providing a good mix of nutrients and antibodies to protect against diseases.
Tips for Success
Here are a few things to remember when breastfeeding your new baby:
- Baby’s Tummy is Tiny
The stomach of a full-term baby is only the size of a cherry on day one and a walnut by day four.
- Just What Baby Needs
The first milk your body produces is called colostrum, which comes in small concentrated amounts and provides the perfect mix of proteins, carbohydrates and antibodies. It might not seem like much, but it’s all your baby needs.
- Feed Early and Often
A baby has a natural instinct to breastfeed; letting them breastfeed will calm them and train your body to make as much milk as the baby needs.
- Weight Loss is Normal
Your baby will have some weight loss after delivery, which is normal. Your baby should be back to birth weight by two weeks of age.
How to Know When a Baby Is Hungry
Babies let their mothers know when they are ready to eat. Watch for these signs of hunger:
- Smacking or licking lips
- Moving, squirming or stretching
- Bringing hands to the face or sucking on fists
- Opening and closing the mouth
- Turning the head from side to side
Breastfeeding Support Appointments
If you have issues with breastfeeding once you are home, several Texas Health hospitals have outpatient appointments available for breastfeeding assistance, including help with:
- Milk supply concerns
- Preventing and managing mastitis, breast abscess or sore nipples
- Drugs and medications while breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding multiples
- Latching or nursing difficulties
- Preventing and managing engorgement
- Mom’s health, including the "baby blues," fatigue and slow weight loss
- Texas Health Allen: 972-747-6377
- Texas Health Alliance: 682-212-3483
- Texas Health Arlington Memorial: 817-960-6623
- Texas Health Cleburne: 817-556-5422
- Texas Health Dallas: 214-345-2557
- Texas Health Flower Mound: 469-322-7181
- Texas Health HEB: 817-848-4773
- Texas Health Plano: 972-981-3788
- Texas Health Rockwall: 469-698-1301
Breastfeeding Support Warm Line
Support is just a phone call away for moms who may be having issues with breastfeeding after leaving the hospital. The following hospital offers a Warm Line that can assist with ongoing questions throughout the breastfeeding experience.
- Texas Health Denton: 940-898-7142
Breastfeeding Support Groups
The Breastfeeding Support Groups provide breastfeeding support and guidance for new moms after delivery.