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Feeding Your Newbornfrom: Maxx Family Life
If you're going to breastfeed your baby, you should start as soon as possible. This sometimes depends on the hospital's newborn procedures. Some hospitals test a newborn and then return him/her to you after a few hours. Also, a new mother who delivered by caesarian may have to stay in post-op care for several hours before they can feed their baby.
Your milk doesn't come "in" immediately after birth, but can takes 3 - 5 days. Your baby will receive the nutritionally dense colostrum until your milk starts to flow. Colostrum contains many antibodies, which help your baby's immune system. You may want to limit your baby's nursing to 7 - 8 minutes on each side or you may have sore or cracked nipples.
Until your milk flows, it's very important to stimulate your breasts during nursing. Fifteen to twenty minutes on each side will allow your baby to empty your breast and this helps to stimulate your glands to produce more milk. Some babies nurse more efficiently than others, but if you have a baby who takes longer to nurse, just let him/her nurse until done.
For the first five days after birth, maintain a flexible routine of every 2 1/2 - 3 hours.Newborns do sleep a lot and you may have to wake him to get him to eat. It might be necessary to undress him to his diaper or use a cool, wet washcloth to wake him up. Having him eat until he's full, rather than just snacking, helps him sleep better and as well as providing more nutrition. If your baby won't wake up, it's going to be more difficult to feed him until he's full.
If you decide to bottle-feed your baby, he'll still get all the nutrition he needs. Dads and other caregivers can also help you feed that will create a bond with your newborn baby. Make sure you're using the nipple with the correct sized hole. If the hole is too big, your baby can choke, spit, and throw up. If the hole is too small, your baby will likely get frustrated and may remain hungry because he'll get tired of sucking.
Just like breastfeeding your baby, 1 1/2 to 3 oz. of formula should be enough for the first few weeks of life. If you make a 4-ounce bottle, your baby should stop when he's full. As your newborn grows, you'll increase the amount of formula and he'll certainly let you know if he hasn't had enough by continuing to suck on the empty bottle.
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