Boobs, Burps, Baby Bliss: Your First Week of Breastfeeding Demystified

Welcome to the world of breastfeeding, where every day brings new joys, challenges, and a few surprises! Let’s embark on this journey with a smile and plenty of practical advice to guide you through the first week.

Day 1: First Impressions Count

  • Initiating Breastfeeding: It might feel like an awkward first date but think of the first latch like a friendly introduction – not always perfect, but a wonderful start to your bonding journey. While aiming for a good latch – baby’s mouth wide open, lips flared like a little fish, and chin snug against the breast – remember, it’s a learning process for both of you.
  • The Power of Colostrum: This ‘liquid gold’ is low in volume but high in immune-boosting nutrients. Even a small amount is a big win for your baby’s health.  And remember, that in the first few days, your baby’s tummy is VERY tiny.  On day 1, it is about the size of a cherry, so a little bit goes a LONG way.
  • Tip: If latching is tricky, try different positions. Remember, comfort for both you and your baby is key to successful breastfeeding.  Try holding your baby close to you, with their chin touching the breast and your nipple resting just above your baby’s upper lip.  Wait for your baby to open WIDE before latching.
  • Where to get help: If you are delivering in a hospital, ask to see their lactation consultant.  If you are delivering with a midwife, they are usually skilled at assisting with latch after birth.  And don’t forget, babies are born with all the reflexes they need to be able to navigate to the breast and latch on if allowed to do the “Breast Crawl.”
  • Resource:  The Breast Crawl Video  

Day 2-3: Understanding Each Other

  • Feeding on Demand: Your baby might be more unpredictable than a weather forecast, but feeding on demand helps establish milk supply and meet their needs. Forget the clock; look for cues like rooting, sucking on fingers, or restlessness.
  • Tackling Engorgement: As your milk comes in, your breasts might start feeling like overenthusiastic party balloons. To reduce discomfort, frequent feeding and gentle massage are key. Think of your breasts as delicate teapots rather than tough kettlebells – gentle taps, not power lifts! Treat them kindly, and they won’t turn against you in your hour of need.
  • Weight loss:  We expect your baby to lose weight in the first week, so you should see your pediatrician within 72 hours of leaving the hospital if you delivered in a hospital.  If you delivered with a midwife, they should typically see you and baby between 24 and 48 hours postpartum for a full checkup on both mother and newborn.  
  • Tip: Be patient! It takes a few days for your milk to come in, and often the latch changes as your breasts change.  If latch starts to get painful, make sure to ask the Lactation Consultant for help!
  • Where to get help: If you are still in the hospital, ask to see their lactation consultant.  If you are home, reach out to a private practice lactation consultant.  Many are available for home or office visits, and if you don’t have one in your local community, some skilled lactation consultants offer virtual visits.   Your insurance may even cover your visit.
  • ResourceBut I saw a Lactation Consultant in the Hospital

Day 4-5: Settling In

  • From Colostrum to Cream: As you wave goodbye to colostrum and welcome mature milk, your breasts might start acting like they’re trying to set a world record for milk production. It’s normal to feel like a 24/7 diner during this phase, with your baby’s appetite on the rise. A breast pump can be a handy sidekick here. Just remember, it’s like a zealous gym buddy – helpful, but don’t let it push you too hard. If you find yourself questioning, ‘To pump or not to pump?’ this is the ideal time to call your lactation consultant. We’re like the seasoned coaches for your breastfeeding journey!
  • Navigating Nipple Tenderness: It’s normal to experience some nipple sensitivity. However, if it’s making you revisit those deep breathing techniques you mastered in childbirth classes, it might be time for a tweak. Ensuring a proper latch is key – it’s like finding the sweet spot in a comfy chair. If you’re finding this challenging, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Nipple creams can offer some soothing relief but think of them more like a band-aid. Getting the latch right is the real medicine to heal the root cause.
  • Tip: It’s a bit of a myth that breastfeeding is supposed to hurt – discomfort, sure, but if it feels like your baby is channeling a tiny vacuum cleaner, that’s not normal. Remember, even if an onlooker says your latch is picture-perfect, if it feels wrong, it probably is. Trust your instincts and don’t hesitate to consult a private practice lactation consultant. We’re like detectives for finding the root of breastfeeding discomforts.
  • Where to get help: Day 4-5 is the perfect time to connect with a private practice lactation consultant.  Many of us are available for home or office visits, and if you don’t have one in your local community, we offer virtual visits.   Your insurance may even cover your visit!
  • ResourceA Lactation Visit: More Than Just Latching

Day 6-7: Finding a Rhythm

  • Diaper Tales: Counting diapers isn’t the most glamorous job, but it’s a surefire way to track your baby’s progress. Aim for 6-8 wet and 3-4 soiled diapers each day. By day 6, expect a shift from tar-like meconium to yellow, seedy stools that resemble gourmet mustard with a cottage cheese twist.
  • Taking Care of You: Juggling new motherhood? Don’t forget, you’re also starring in your own ‘Fourth Trimester Reality Show’. Yes, you’ve just done something miraculous! So, remember to drink plenty of water (think of it as your personal spa treatment), eat well (chef’s hat optional), and snatch those naps like they’re golden tickets. Your comeback to pre-baby energy levels is just as epic as caring for your little one.
  • Tip: Keep a feeding and diaper log.  Embrace your inner detective with a feeding and diaper log. This isn’t just scribbling – it’s tracking clues to ensure your baby’s thriving journey. Keep this log until your baby’s scales p back to their birth weight, offering you a little sanity in the sea of diapers and feeds.
  • Where to get help: You should see your pediatrician around this me, both for a weight check and for guidance on baby’s overall health journey.  But for questions about the nitty-gritty of breastfeeding, remember that a private practice IBCLC is your best bet.  We will help with weighed feeds and specific plans to address any weight gain concerns or breastfeeding challenges.
  • Resource: The scoop on poop!

Anticipatory Guidance:

  • Baby’s Weight: Think of your newborn as a tiny, adorable yo-yo master. In the beginning, they might shed up to 10% of their birth weight – it’s their version of a dramatic entrance. But fear not, these little champs are quick to rebound, typically hitting their birth weight again by day 1014. If the scales are telling a different story, or if you’re just a bit anxious about the numbers, a private practice IBCLC can step in like a baby-weight detective, offering you insights and peace of mind.
  • Growth Spurts: Just when you think you’ve got a routine down, your baby turns into a mini milk marathoner, wanting to feed more often. It’s their way of saying, “Hey, I’m growing here!” These supercharged feeding fests are usually just a phase. But if it feels like you’re hosting a non-stop milk party, or your baby’s latching for what seems like eternity, your IBCLC can help decipher whether it’s a typical growth spurt or something more.
  • Patience and Persistence: Your breastfeeding journey is as unique as your baby’s first smile. Some days are smooth sailing, others a bit choppy. Stay patient, keep soaking in the knowledge, and don’t be shy to reach out. Aer all, every great adventure has its twists and turns!

Setting Expectations:

  • Emotional Rollercoaster: Brace yourself for a ride on the new-mom emotional express – it’s normal, and it’s okay to feel like you’re on a bit of a rollercoaster. Remember, sharing your feelings about the baby blues is more than okay – it’s essential. Lean on family, friends, or a breastfeeding group for support.
  • Seeking Help: Think of lactation consultants as your personal breastfeeding navigators. We’re here to guide you through the breastfeeding maze with less ‘lost in the woods’ and more ‘enjoying the scenic route’. And remember, if your emotions feel more intense than just the baby blues, reaching out to your physician or a mental health provider is a wise and brave step.


Embrace your first week of breastfeeding as a beautiful, sometimes zany, learning journey. It’s a blend of bonding, a bit of comedy, and lots of patience. Remember, your breastfeeding story is as unique as your little one. Trust yourself, ask for help when you need it, and celebrate every ny victory. You’re not just feeding a baby; you’re nurturing a bond. You’re doing an amazing job, and every step, no matter how small, is progress!  And remember, you’re not alone in this beautiful journey! Here’s to a successful, joy-filled breastfeeding adventure!

Bayou City Breastfeeding