Feeding your newborn: The first breastfeed

You can find out everything you need to know about feeding your newborn here.

The first breastfeed

The first breastfeed your baby gets is very important. Because it gets all the important nutrients and defenses it needs. While it was still protected from bacteria and dangerous pathogens in the amniotic sac, it now has to produce its own antibodies in order to be able to survive. On your chest and skin, it comes into contact with your germs that protect it from foreign bacteria.

During the first breastfeeding, your breast passes on so-called colostrum to your child. Colostrum contains a highly concentrated amount of leukocytes and immunoglobulins, which form a kind of protective film in the baby’s digestive tract. It ensures that your baby is protected from infections and allergies. The baby does not drink much at first, because it first has to get the digestive tract used to the food, but the amount is already sufficient to activate immune factors and the body’s defenses.

When your baby wants to be breastfed, you can tell by his search reflex: he frowns, forms his mouth or licks his lips. When you notice these signs, it’s time to offer the breast to your baby. The first breastfeeding is also important for you, as it causes the uterine muscles to contract, the placenta to detach more easily and the wound surfaces to heal more quickly.

The mooring

To prevent your nipples from becoming sore, it is important that they are far enough into the baby’s mouth during breastfeeding. This is when the nose touches your breast. If you happen to have red and tender nipples, you can read our article ” 5 tips against sore nipples ” to find out what helps. You can also find more information about breastfeeding positions in our article “Four popular breastfeeding positions ”.

The milk shot

After the second to sixth day after birth, the milk begins to come in. Your breast is transitioning from colostrum to breast milk. The milk coming in may be a bit unusual for you at first. Your baby is now drinking larger amounts. If breastfeeding is still a little painful at first, this may be due to the flow of milk. The milk ducts are still a bit narrow. A warm washcloth or shower can help relax the gait and stimulate milk flow. You can find helpful tips on how to prevent breast engorgement and relieve the pain in our article: What helps against breast engorgement?

The feeding

Feeding tea or glucose solutions is only necessary if your baby experiences a weight loss of more than seven percent in the first few days after birth. Special breast feeding sets, breast milk teats, soft cups or pipettes are suitable for supplementary feeding. It is best to get more information from your midwife or lactation consultant with an IBCLC exam. But don’t worry – in most cases you can get by without additional feeding.

You can find more tips on breastfeeding in our special “ Breastfeeding ” and “ Breastfeeding aids ”. If you have decided not to breastfeed, you will find more information in our “ Bottles ” section.

How is your baby going to be fed?

Find out in our further articles how to continue with nutrition in the first year of life:

development in other areas

In the following articles you can find out how your baby is developing in other areas:

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