Early Start

  • Put baby to the breast to nurse as soon as possible after birth. Babies placed skin-to-skin often search for the breast and start suckling.

How Often?

  • Baby needs to nurse at least 8‒12 times in 24 hours. The more you nurse, the more milk you will have.
  • Frequent breastfeeding stimulates milk production. Breasts do not need to “fill up” between feedings

Latching On

  • Sit up comfortably (don’t lean over baby).
  • Hold baby very close to you with your arm. Pull baby’s feet in close to your other side, so baby is tucked in just under the breasts.
  • Baby’s face and body are turned toward you.
  • Baby’s chin is leading and nose is tilted back in a sniffing position.
  • Steady your breast with fingers if needed.
  • Baby’s bottom lip and chin are against breast and top lip brushes nipple as he opens wide.
  • Quickly pull baby closer into you to latch on.
  • Baby’s mouth will cover a large part of the darker skin especially with the lower lip.


  • Produced in first few days.
  • Small quantity is perfect for baby’s small stomach (teaspoons, not ounces).
  • Protects against infection.
  • Clears meconium ( first stools)—Helps reduce jaundice.
  • Satisfies baby’s thirst and hunger.

Night Feedings are Important

Human milk is made to nourish baby’s system both day and night. Night feeds boost mother’s milk production hormones. Some babies cluster nurse in the evening then have a longer sleep. Others feed at regular intervals through the night.

Why Avoid Bottles or Formula?


  • Cold compresses or cabbage leaves between feedings to reduce swelling.
  • Warm showers or compresses before feeding.
  • Soften breasts by expressing some milk.
  • Nurse often!

Enough Milk?

After milk comes in (~day 4)

  • At least 6 really wet diapers in 24 hours.
  • 3-5 bowel movements per day mean baby is getting enough milk.

Milk Too Weak?

Never! Milk changes throughout the feeding. Express one drop of milk before and after a feeding and see the difference. Babies take a balance through the day.

Too Much Milk

  • Offer only one breast at a feeding.
  • Offer the same breast if baby wants more soon after a feeding.
  • Feeding against gravity may slow the flow

Sore Nipples

Remember: Correct positioning and latch-on are most important for preventing sore nipples.

  • Break suction before taking baby off the breast.
  • Offer the least sore breast first.
  • Avoid plastic against nipples.
  • Use only plain water for washing.
  • Check with an LLL Leader for more help

Blocked Ducts

If milk flow becomes blocked, a tender lump may appear in the breast.

  • Apply heat
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Nurse frequently
  • Check latch and try different positions
  • Gentle, light massage
  • See doctor if it lasts more than a day

Growth Spurts

Baby may nurse more often at times to build milk supply. These “frequency days” happen about 3‒4 times in the first 3 months.

Back to Work?

  • Find out about facilities at work for expressing and storing your milk.
  • Delay starting work until after milk supply is well established.
  • Pump or express milk at work.
  • Take milk home for the next day’s feedings.
  • Breastfeed frequently when you’re with baby.