While waiting for the real deal to flow, the first milk a breastfed baby would savor for a couple of days after birth is the colostrum. Colostrum is a thick yellow-orange fluid with creamy texture, concentrated and not very abundant. Highly packed with so many goodies (proteins, vitamins, minerals and antibodies that boost your infant’s immune system), it protects your baby from disease and gives baby everything he/she needs. It’s the best way to start your baby’s nutrition, nothing else comes close. This incredible substance acts as a natural vaccine and has certainly contributed to protecting my tiny little baby from the harsh flu I got shortly after my delivery, even though baby and me are practically glued 24/7! (of course a protective mask for mommy and other sanitary precautions around the house are also imperative to minimize the likelihood of baby catching the virus)
- Start breastfeeding right away, even in the delivery room! Nursing in the next hour or so of your baby’s birth is very important to stimulate milk production. You won’t be too sad to learn that you might be asked to do away with the lovely hospital gown for your first breastfeeding, as skin-to-skin contact between mommy and baby is recommended to jump start the natural bond and breastfeeding.
- Avoid or minimize bottle or pacifier use, as it can get in the way of developing a good breastfeeding routine.
- Have your baby in your room the first few weeks so you can nurse more often and on demand, this will help improve your baby’s sucking which in turn will build up your milk supply.
- At least 3 comfy and well-fit nursing bras
- Nursing pads
- Nursing pillow
- Lanolin (nipple cream)
- Breast milk pump
- Nightgown, pajamas or other clothes that button or snap down from the front
- Hand sanitizer
- Burp cloths
- Sterilized milk bottles for when you need to pump your milk (either buy a sterilizing machine for the bottles or you can just boil them for a couple of minutes in hot water)
- Make sure your washer and dryer are in good condition because they will probably be running non-stop!
- Wait until the colostrum phase is over to introduce your favorite onesies as the stains it creates are much harder to wash off.
- Train another person to burp your baby after each feed (so you can take turns) and this way you can get some extra time for rest between feeds.