Navigating the First Few Days of Breastfeeding

We asked our duet community what they would share with other new moms about the first few days of breastfeeding. Here are some tips to help set you up for success! 

New mom holding baby in hospital 

The Golden Hour

In the first hour post-birth, you will have the most magical bonding time with your baby and it can help set you up for success with breastfeeding. Holding your baby skin-to-skin will encourage them to latch and releases oxytocin to stimulate your milk flow. It's totally normal if you do not feel like you know what you are doing just yet! Your baby will instinctually want to move toward your nipple to latch and initiate breastfeeding (known as the “breast crawl”)!


Latching & Milk Supply

Frequent latching is key to signal your milk to come in and begin building your supply. It will also take some practice for you and baby to get the hang of things. If your baby struggles with latching initially, you can hand express colostrum and use a syringe or bottle for feedings to ensure they get all the goodness of that liquid gold! When your milk comes in, engorgement can be really uncomfortable. Latching baby often and hand expressing or pumping as needed will help alleviate the discomfort.

Nipple Comfort

Although breastfeeding should not be painful, it might hurt a bit as you get used to it! It is beneficial to have some products on hand to care for sore nipples.
  • Nipple cream: A must have! It helps prevent dry or cracked skin and provides overall comfort. In those early days, you will likely want to use frequently throughout the day.
  • Cooling nipple pads and Silverette cups: Great for soothing nipple pain between feedings.
  • Saline wipes: Helpful after feedings for cleaning and healing cracked nipples.


Lactation Consultants

Utilize lactation consultants! They can provide so much help– assisting with your latch, guiding you with different positions, and answering your questions. If you are delivering at a hospital, you might see a few different LC’s during your time there, which can have its benefits since everyone will have slightly different advice to share. Many women find it helpful to establish a relationship with a consultant before giving birth for future home visits.


Taking Care of You 

The first few weeks can be really hard. There is a learning curve for both you and baby and it is totally normal if it doesn’t feel natural and easy in the beginning, but it gets better! Ask for help when you need it and make sure you are taking care of yourself too. You might want to take an epsom salt bath to soothe breast engorgement, have your partner feed baby a bottle, or connect with a lactation consultant or mom friend for advice. You’ve got this!

tips from the duet community

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