Your first few weeks

Information for each stage of feeding your baby
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You've made it through the first few days of breastfeeding, well done! Read on to find info and advice on how to keep it up.

Top breastfeeding tips for the first few weeks

Hints and advice to help you continue breastfeeding for the new few weeks and beyond.

Top tips for breastfeeding

FeedGood's top tips for mums 

  • There are tons of ways you can make breastfeeding less noticeable when you're out and about, but don't feel you need to hide the fact that you're breastfeeding - in Scotland it is your legal right to breastfeed in a public space. Read our How to guide on "What to wear when you're breastfeeding" for some tips.
  • Some mums prefer to express milk to take with them when they're out and about, and that's fine too. Our section on "Expressing breast milk and bottle feeding" is full of helpful information.
  • Mums often get very thirsty when they're breastfeeding so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and keep some water nearby when feeding.
  • If you're worried you aren't doing it right, don't panic. Speak to your midwife or health visitor about different positions which you could try to make breastfeeding easier for you and your baby. You can also find out more in our How to guide on 'Breastfeeding positions'.

Why breastfeed in the first few weeks?

Research shows that the longer you breastfeed, the more protection you give your baby from infections and illnesses, as well as conditions like asthma or diabetes in years to come. It also shows that longer breastfeeding provides more protection for you against breast and ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.

benefits of breastfeeding

You've done so well to get this far, and if you are able to continue breastfeeding we've got tons of info and advice to help in these next few pages.

Am I doing it right?

If your baby is feeding well and you're not uncomfortable or in pain, chances are you're doing absolutely fine. If you have any concerns, the links below can help you get the hang of breastfeeding - from knowing how and when to feed, to finding support. 

Is my baby getting enough breast milk?

Your baby's tummy is now only about the size of an plum, so you might be surprised at how little breast milk they actually take during each feed. However, if you are concerned there are ways you can check.

How often and how much?

All babies come in different shapes and sizes and have different needs, so it's impossible to give an exact amount or schedule. However, as long as you know to use your instincts to feed responsively (responding quickly to your baby's signs they're hungry) and let them feed for as long as they want, you can be pretty sure they're getting enough.

Can I 'spoil' my baby by breastfeeding too much?

It's important to know that you're not 'spoiling' your baby by feeding in this way - you're making them feel loved, safe and secure. You can find out more about creating a strong bond with your baby in UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative's leaflet "Building a happy baby" linked to at the bottom of this page.

Signs your baby is hungry (also known as feeding cues)

signs a baby is hungry

Nappies

Your baby's nappies are also a good way of checking how well they're feeding. Have a read of our page on 'Signs your baby might not be getting enough milk' to find out what to look out for in your baby's nappies at this stage, or use our 'Feeding Checklist' to reassure you about how well your baby is doing.

Newborn nutrition

Breast milk adapts to provide all the nourishment your baby needs as they grow. 

How does my breast milk adapt and nourish my growing baby?

You'll probably have noticed this already in the changes to your milk. At first you produced oily colostrum perfect for newborns, then concentrated milk as your baby's stomach expanded to the size of a cherry, and now more milk to fill your baby's apricot-sized tummy. Take a look at the image above to find out what breast milk is actually made up of.

 
breast milk properties

The only additional thing your baby needs is Vitamin D. We don't get enough sunlight in Scotland for mums to make it in their milk, so give your baby Healthy Start vitamin drops from birth instead.

What should I look out for?

Breastfeeding is generally a painless, enjoyable experience and a lovely way to build a strong bond with your baby. However, there are certain uncomfortable and sometimes painful conditions that can affect some breastfeeding mums. Read on to find out what they are and how to deal with them.