Early Days and What To Expect
The first few days following the birth of your baby will be an adjustment period for your baby and your body. Your baby will be discovering how to breastfeed and your body will be adjusting to your baby’s feeding needs. Here is what you can expect in the first few days:
Colostrum is the first milk your baby will receive during the few days following birth. This milk contains more protein than mature milk and has antibodies to protect your baby. It will have a yellowish or clear color, and the breast will generally produce five to seven cc’s or about 1 teaspoon from each breast at each feeding. This is all your baby needs to fill full in the first few days. Frequent nursing will help to establish an adequate milk supply early on.
After a couple of days, you will notice the colostrum changing into transitional milk. This milk will be very thin and watery, similar to skim milk. Within four to five days after giving birth, your milk should become fully mature. This milk will have a bluish or yellow tint. Your breastmilk will still produce colostrum for the next two weeks as your breastmilk transitions into mature milk.
In approximately two weeks, your milk will change from transitional milk to mature milk. During feeding time, your milk can be broken up in several stages. These stages are listed below:
· Foremilk is the milk that is produced the first few minutes of nursing on the breast. It contains vitamins and minerals and it has a large amount of water (much like skim milk) that quenches the baby’s thirst.
· Middle milk is the milk that comes in the middle of a feeding. It contains more fat and starts to make the baby feel full and sleepy. · Hind milk is the milk that comes at the end of the feeding on the breast. This milk contains the highest amount of fat and calories. This is why it is very important to nurse your baby on the first breast to soften the breast well to ensure that infant receives all three types of milk.