The First Month

The First Month Print Format (Adobe PDF*)

First Month
Bringing Baby to Breast
Signs of a Good Latch
Signs your Baby is getting Milk
Baby's Weight Gain

What to Expect in the First Month of Breastfeeding?

mom holding baby's hand while breastfeedingBreastfeed as soon as possible after birth, ideally within the first hour. Keep your baby close so that you can watch for signs of hunger:

  • Sucking on hands
  • Soft cooing / sighing sounds
  • Rapid eye movements

Newborns have small stomachs and need to nurse often:

  • 8-12 times every 24 hours
  • At least every 2-3 hours

Avoid pacifiers and bottles for the first month.

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Bringing Baby to Breast

  • Line baby's nose up with the nipple
  • Let baby's head tilt slightly back
  • Bring baby's mouth to and onto the nipple and allow licking
  • Wait for a wide open mouth and quickly pull baby to and onto the breast

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Signs of a Good Latch

  • Nipple is deep into baby's mouth
  • Lips are flipped out
  • Tongue is forward
  • Breastfeeding should not be painful. It is normal to feel some stretching or discomfort in the early days.

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Signs your Baby is getting Milk

  • You will hear your baby swallow
  • Your baby will let go of the breast when full and appear satisfied
  • Body relaxes
  • Fist opens

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Baby's Weight Gain

Have the baby's weight checked within the first week by:

  • Baby's health care provider
  • Hospital nursery
  • Home visiting nurse
  • WIC clinic
  • Well child clinic
  • Lactation consultant

Babies often lose weight the first 4 days after birth. Then most breastfed babies begin gaining 1/2 to 1 ounce per day.

By 2 weeks of age, babies should be at or above birth weight.

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