Beginning to breastfeed: Answers to your 10 most-asked questions

6. How will I know when my milk has come in?
You will have milk right from the start. Your first milk is called colostrum. Colostrum is concentrated, with all the right nutrients and immune components your baby needs in the first few days. The milk volume gradually increases over the first week to meet your baby's needs perfectly. You may notice some extra fullness during the first week as your body adjusts to the increasing volume, but true engorgement that causes painfully full and hard breasts is not a normal or expected part of breastfeeding. You can reduce your risk of engorgement by breastfeeding early, often, and with good comfortable position and latch. If painful engorgement does occur contact your lactation consultant.

7. Do I need to wake my baby for feedings?
If your newborn is taking less than eight feedings in 24 hours it is advisable to wake the baby to increase the number of feedings. Some newborns will not wake often enough to get enough to eat. You can rouse your baby by undressing her, "walking" your fingers up the baby's spine or tickling under the arm. If you are unable to rouse your baby to feed through two feeding times (six or more hours) you should call your pediatrician at once.

Next page: Learn if evening fussiness is normal, when it's best to introduce a bottle and when to wean

8. My baby is fussy every evening. Is this normal?
Most babies experience a fussy spell each day that lasts on average from two to four hours. Fussiness most commonly occurs in the evening hours. During this fussy time your baby may want to breastfeed very frequently. This is known as a cluster feeding, and your baby may want to be held continuously. You may find that no matter how you try to comfort your baby she still seems unhappy. Often after this fussy time the baby takes her longest stretch of sleep. This routine fussiness is usually not a sign of low milk supply, or other more serious problems. However if your baby seems unusually fussy, consult with the pediatrician to rule out any medical causes.

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