Take time to breastfeedTake time to breastfeed
Starting breastfeeding requires time and patience by yourself, your baby and the people around you. Ensure you have a calm environment.
It takes time to establish breastfeeding. Your baby has a very tiny stomach, so just a little bit of milk is quite sufficient for the first couple of days. The more you put your baby to your breast, the more milk your body will produce. Starting breastfeeding requires time and patience from yourself, your baby and the people around you.
Allow Maternity Unit staff to help you. They are happy to take a look and offer tips or advice where needed.
Breastfeeding is a process that you and your baby will grow into. At the beginning, every day is different. That is why the advice you will get will also vary from day to day.
Infochannel on our Maternity UnitInfochannel on our Maternity Unit
Continuing your stay at the Maternity Unit? Then definitely watch our educational videos on the television in your room (infochannel 2) about breastfeeding and caring for your baby. You can watch other videos about hunger signals, putting your baby to breast and congestion, among other topics.
Starting breastfeedingStarting breastfeeding
When can I put my baby to breast?
- It is best to try and latch on your baby soon after birth. If your baby does not suck well straight away, that is not a problem at this point. Simply lay your baby against your breast. Skin-to-skin contact is important.
- Always feed your baby on demand. Do not wait for your baby to start crying as it is often more difficult to put him or her to breast in that case. Pay attention to hunger signals, such as when your baby moves and opens his or her mouth, yawns, searches with his or her mouth, sucking on hands, etc.
- To stimulate milk production, it is advisable to latch on your baby on both sides during the first few days. Do not interrupt the baby’s feeding to do so. You can switch sides when your baby stops sucking.
- Feeding often has the benefit that you will be less affected by hard, painful breasts.
Continuing your stay at the Maternity Unit? Then definitely watch the video ‘Hunger signals' on infochannel 2.
How often does a baby eat?
- It is normal for your baby to eat 10-12 times in 24 hours during the first few days.
- During the day, do not let more than 2.5 hours pass without feeding your baby.
- The maximum interval you may leave between feeds one time per 24 hours is 4 hours.
- As you continue breastfeeding, you will notice that the number of feeds per day usually decreases over time. Make sure to breastfeed your baby 8 times in the first 24 hours.
Milk production is usually well established two-to-five days after the birth. This can also be accompanied by tight breasts, which can make it
harder for your baby to latch and can make your breasts feel sore. In our leaflet, there are some tips on how to manage this.
Continuing your stay at the Maternity Unit? Then definitely watch the video 'hunger signals' on infochannel 2.
How to latch your baby on the breastHow to latch your baby on the breast
A good latch is the basis for a successful breastfeeding session. For this reason, take your time to check your baby's position and latch. If you have any doubts, please do not hesitate to ask the midwife for help. In the leaflet at the bottom of this page, you can read, step-by-step, how you can help you baby obtain a good latch. You can also read in the leaflet how to correct your baby's latch, in case that is necessary.
Would you like to know more about the various positions you could use for breastfeeding? Those are also reviewed in our leaflet.
Continuing your stay at the Maternity Unit? Then definitely watch the video ‘Putting your baby to breast' on infochannel 2.
Expressing and storing breast milkExpressing and storing breast milk
Sometimes, you may need to express milk, for instance if your baby is in the Neonatal Unit and is unable to feed (yet) directly from the breast or if your baby loses too much weight. Midwives are happy to inform you about and assist you with this. You can either express milk manually and/or use a breast pump. Read more about this in our leaflet.
All sorts of practical information about breastfeeding can be found in the leaflets below. Topics covered include: how to start breastfeeding, positioning your baby, different positions, a breastfeeding diary, pumping and storing breast milk, guidance and help at home, extra vitamins for your baby, phasing out breastfeeding, useful websites and apps and a handy checklist.