Breastfeeding

You and Your Baby

Congratulations on bringing a new baby into the world. At Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC), we have partnered with First 5 Tulare County to bring you useful resources. SVMC is the only Baby-Friendly designated hospital in Tulare County. Our Breastfeeding Resource Center, provides free resources to help parents prepare and thrive through the important first months of their baby’s growth and development.

EN ESPAÑOL (In Spanish)

How Important Is Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding your baby within the first hour of birth and throughout their first 6 months of life will positively impact their development. This is just one of the things you can do to help give your baby every chance at a healthy life! Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recommend that children exclusively breastfeed during their first 6 months of life. This means that only breastmilk should be consumed (No other foods, liquids, or water).

Additional Breastfeeding Information:

World Health Organization: wHO.INT

Medications and Breastfeeding: WWW.NFANTRISK.COM

La Leche League International: www.llli.org

Every month, there are different things you should be looking out for. Read on to learn what to expect during your baby's first weeks and first three months!

Week 2: Breastfeeding Your Newborn

What should you know about your newborn in the first two weeks since childbirth? There is plenty you can already look out for to help get your baby off to a great start in breastfeeding.

Mother breastfeeding her baby

Signs of good feedings:

  • Breast are softer after the feeding
  • Seeing milk in your baby’s mouth
  • Feeling a let-down reflex or seeing a change in the baby’s feeding rhythm
  • Adequate wet diapers and stools
  • Baby regains birth weight by 2 weeks and gains ¾ to 1 oz. daily thereafter

Growth Spurt

  • During a growth spurt, breastfed babies nurse more often than usual (sometimes as often as every hour) and often act fussier than usual.
  • Baby will automatically get more milk by nursing more frequently, and your milk supply will increase due to the increased nursing.
  • Growth spurts usually last 2-3 days, but sometimes last a week or so.
  • Some nursing moms feel more hungry or thirsty when baby is going through a growth spurt. Listen to your body — you may need to eat or drink more during the time that baby is nursing more often
  • Breastfeeding your baby while you are ill will reduce the risks of baby becoming ill. If you need to take medication, it is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are breastfeeding. Many medications can be taken even if you are breastfeeding, but it is important to find out beforehand. The same applies to over-the-counter medications and to natural health products.

Finding Your Groove

  • It will take several weeks for you and your baby to get into a pattern of feedings and nap times. Go with the flow and learn what your baby’s natural rhythms are. Schedules don’t tend to work until the baby is a bit older and bigger. You can encourage a more predictable pattern later.

Month 1: What Can You Expect?

Mother breastfeeding her baby

Is your growing baby getting enough breastmilk? Here are some ways to find out:

  • Baby should be alert, active and meeting his/her milestones.
  • Baby should seem reasonably satisfied immediately after the feeding.
  • Your breasts should feel softer after nursing.
  • After 4-6 weeks, some babies may have fewer soiled or stooled dirty diaper changes.
  • At Month 1, your baby should wet at least 4-5 diapers daily.

A Growth Spurt may occur at 6 weeks, 3 months, and again at 6 months. Here are things you can expect:

  • You may need to eat or drink more during the time that your baby is nursing more often. Listen to your body.
  • Growth spurts usually last between 2-3 days, but may last longer.
  • Baby should get more milk by nursing more frequently, and your breast milk supply should increase.
  • During a growth spurt, breastfed babies nurse more often and may act fussier than usual.

Month 2: Myths vs. Facts

Have you heard something about breastfeeding but do not know if it is true. The Lactation Consultants at Sierra View Medical Center’s Breastfeeding Center are eager to help you learn the difference!
Mother holding baby's toes

1. What foods should you be eating while breastfeeding?

  • Myth: When breastfeeding you must eat only healthy foods daily.
  • Fact: Many mothers have found that they can eat and drink whatever they would like, even with limited amounts of caffeine.

2. Can you breastfeed if you feel unwell?

  • Myth: You need to stop breastfeeding if you are ill.
  • Fact: Breastfeeding your baby while you are ill may reduce the risks of your baby becoming ill. Please consult your doctor.

3. What should you do if you’re taking medication?

  • Myth: You must stop breastfeeding if you need to take medication.
  • Fact: Many medications may be taken even while you are breastfeeding, but it is important to find out beforehand. Please consult your doctor.

4. What should you do if your nipples are bleeding?

  • Myth: You must stop breastfeeding if your nipples are bleeding or there is blood in your milk.
  • Fact: It is safe to continue to breastfeed even if your nipples are injured or bleeding. Need help? Contact the Breastfeeding Resource Center by calling (559) 791-3701.

Month 3: Your Baby's Milestones

Baby raising head while lying on tummy showing what tummy time for babies looks like.

At 3 months here is what you can expect:

  • Baby should be able to smile, babble, and hold their head steady.
  • You should be able to increase your baby’s tummy time to help strengthen their neck and trunk muscles.
  • Baby should stay awake 8-10 hours per day.

If your baby is not meeting their milestones, please contact your doctor.

Useful Info for Breastfeeding Mothers:

  • Pregnant women can continue breastfeeding.
  • You can get help to continue breastfeeding even if your nipples are injured or bleeding. Ask us how.

When Should Your Baby Eat Solid Foods?

  • Only feed your baby breastmilk. Begin solid foods at about six month of age.

You are doing a great job! Remember: Breastmilk is your baby’s perfect food.

Need help? Have questions? Let us know! Speak with a Lactation Consultant by calling (559) 791-3701.

If your baby is not meeting their milestones, please contact your doctor.

BACK TO MAIN BREASTFEEDING RESOURCE CENTER PAGE

Breastfeeding Locations