Breastfeeding your baby for even a day is an amazing gift that you can give to your baby!
1. When you nurse your baby for even just a couple days…
When you nurse your baby for even just a couple days he will be taking in your colostrum. Colostrum gives your baby antibodies to help fight infection. It is his first immunization. Breastfeeding also helps your body recover after giving birth. Your body is made to breastfeed your baby. Your body and your baby knows this.
This colostrum is like a golden miraculous natural vaccine. Info about colostrum from La Leche League International:
“Your breasts produce colostrum beginning during pregnancy and continuing through the early days of breastfeeding. This special milk is yellow to orange in color and thick and sticky. It is low in fat, and high in carbohydrates, protein, and antibodies to help keep your baby healthy. Colostrum is extremely easy to digest, and is therefore the perfect first food for your baby. It is low in volume (measurable in teaspoons rather than ounces), but high in concentrated nutrition for the newborn. Colostrum has a laxative effect on the baby, helping him pass his early stools, which aids in the excretion of excess bilirubin and helps prevent jaundice.”1
“Colostrum actually works as a natural and 100% safe vaccine…. [this antibody] protects the baby in the places most likely to come under attack from germs, namely the mucous membranes in the throat, lungs, and intestines.”1
2. If you continue to nurse your baby for 4 to 6 weeks…
If you continue to nurse your baby for 4 to 6 weeks you will be helping him stay healthy through this short time when he is so little. Also, you will most likely have figured out this “nursing thing” during these first few weeks. By this time nursing feels more natural and easier to you.
Babies who are breastfed:
- are sick fewer times during the first year of life
- are less likely to become diabetic later in life
- have a reduced risk of obesity as they get older
During this 4 to 6 week time your body realizes you did not have twins, unless you did of course :-).
Our bodies are made to nurse even twins. As you may have noticed, your milk supply could “feed an army”. But suddenly the amount of milk you produce decreases. This is completely normal. You are still making plenty of milk. Your body has just realized you had only this one baby. It has figured out how to regulate to your babies needs.
Do not worry. You are still making exactly the right amount of milk for your baby. These weeks are a common time for mothers to supplement with formula. A time when they feel like their milk has “dried up”.
BUT it hasn’t and you now know the secret. Your body is amazing and has figured out the supply and demand that is exactly right for your baby.
Here is some info from La Leche League International about how to know if you are making enough milk:
“I want to know if my breasts are making milk normally. Do I have enough milk?
This is a common breastfeeding concern. Many women wonder if their experiences are within the “normal” range. Here are some common concerns:
My breasts are no longer leaking. Am I not making enough milk? Leaking has no relationship to how much milk a mother is making. Once your milk supply is well established, leaking normally diminishes or ceases. Some mothers experience leaking longer than others.
When I pump I find that one breast produces more milk than the other. Is something wrong? Every woman’s breasts are a little different, and since humans are not symmetrical, breasts aren’t either. It is common for one breast to have more milk-producing tissue than the other. In fact, sometimes babies will prefer the more- or the less-productive breast, and this is perfectly normal.
My breasts no longer feel “full” when it is time for a feeding. Is my milk supply decreasing? When a mother’s milk supply adjusts to her baby’s needs, the feelings of fullness or engorgement she may have felt early on will subside.
I no longer feel the let-down, or milk-ejection reflex. This may occur as time goes on. Some mothers do not feel a let-down at all, but they can tell by watching their baby’s pattern of suck and swallow when their let-down is occurring.”2
Coming up… Breastfeeding 3 to 4 Months and Breastfeeding for 6 Months