Your baby’s first feeding

Practically, there isn’t really much you can do to prepare for your baby’s first feeding, but it’s good to know a little bit about what to expect.
For your baby’s first breastfeed, usually within the first hour of birth, newborn babies consume up to 5ml (1 teaspoon) of colostrum, and then will usually have between 3 and 8 feedings in the next 24 hours. Current guidance is to feed babies on-demand. Researchers in Sweden found that a healthy baby placed on their mother's chest can find the breast and feed without much help. For this reason, you should hold your newborn – with skin-to-skin contact – for an unlimited amount of time within 30 minutes of giving birth.

If your baby is particularly sleepy and uninterested in feeding, you may need to stimulate them and encourage adequate early feeds.

Babies who feed well in the first hour or two after birth are likely to take to breastfeeding more quickly.

  • Before you produce breast milk you will produce a clear or yellowish liquid called ‘colostrum’ (a concentrated ‘pre-milk’) that is available to your baby from birth.
  • Colostrum is very rich in important nutrients, high in protein and protective agents, to make sure your baby gets the best start.
  • You only make very small amounts (about a tablespoon full), but this is more than enough for your newborn baby.
  • Less appealing but just as important, colostrum helps babies pass their first stool!

Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance. Philips AVENT cannot be held responsible for any damages that result from the use of the information provided on this website.

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