Colostrum is the first milk a mother produces which is concentrated milk to match your baby's tiny tummy. It is packed full of protection and nutrition to meet all your baby's needs for the first few days.
Holding your baby with skin-to-skin contact straight after birth will settle you baby's breathing and keep your baby warm.
This is an ideal time to continue developing a relationship with your baby and a good time to start breastfeeding. By keeping your baby close it will help your body to make milk.
Babies are happiest when held close and this will help you get to know the signs when they are ready to feed or need comforting.
How to breastfeed
- Keep your baby close
- Skin-to-skin contact for as long as possible
- Remember CHIN
- Head free
- In line
- Nose to nipple
- Respond to your baby's feeding cues
- Feel reassured that your baby will be getting enough milk if they are feeding frequently
More information can be found in the Off to the best start leaflet.
If you are worried or need further information on breastfeeding problems such as, tongue-tie, sore nipples, mastitis, please click here.
How do I know if my baby is attached well at the breast?
These two videos will help you tell the difference -
For informative advice on breastfeeding attachment watch this video from Global Health Media.
This image shows what to expect when your baby is feeding well -
Signs that your baby is feeding well
- Should have a large mouthful of breast
- Chin should be pressed into the breast
- Cheeks should be full and rounded
- Should be sucking and swallowing with pauses
- Relaxed and content during the feed and come off the breast on their own
- Comfortable and pain-free
Use this checklist
to help you understand when to be concerned and to seek advice.
Always seek help if you have any concerns, especially if you have pain when your baby feeds.
For more information please click link - http://www.feedgood.scot/stages/first-few-days#why-breastfeed-in-the-first-few-days
Responsive feeding is the term used to describe the relationship between mum and baby, feeding is a baby’s source of comfort, relationship, socialisation, food and drink. It is mum's time to bond with the baby, feed for comfort, have a rest and calm her baby.
You can offer your baby breastmilk when they show feeding cues, to comfort them, if they are in pain or about to have a procedure. You can also offer your baby breastmilk when your breasts feel full or you want to relax with baby – there is never a time when you shouldn’t offer the breast to your baby – breastfed babies cannot be overfed.
More information about responsive feeding can be found in this UNICEF infosheet.
Breastmilk is all your baby needs for the first six months of their life. At around six months you can begin to introduce your baby to family foods alongside continued breastfeeding up to two years and beyond.
Expressing your milk
Expressing your milk by hand or by using a pump can be another option and to get a good supply going it is easier if you breastfeed your baby for the first two to three days. Skin-to-skin contact during this time will also help to get a good milk supply and encourage your baby to attach to the breast instinctively. But expressing from the beginning is also possible and your baby will get all the important nutrients from the breastmilk. Watch the three videos for more information.
- Video 1 - is a short clip, developed by the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative providing an overview of hand expression and how to hand express successfully, www.babyfriendly.org.uk
- Video 2 - is a step-by-step instructions from an infant feeding specialist on how to set-up and clean an electric breast pump developed by the Scottish Government.
- Video 3 - shows a demonstration on how to express breastmilk developed by Global Health Media Project
More information on how to express milk can be found here.
Storing your breastmilk
Breastmilk can be stored for upto -
- 3 days in a fridge running below 10 o C
- 4-8 days in a fridge running under 4 o C
It is important to monitor the fridge temperature as opening the door frequently can alter the temperature. A fridge thermometer can be purchased from any good hardware store if your fridge has no built in thermometer. Breastmilk can also be frozen if it is not used in time.
When transporting breastmilk please use a cool bag or a box with frozen ice packs.
For more information please watch this video on how to store breastmilk -
Breastfeeding after returning to work
When the time is right for you to go back to work and you are breastfeeding you can write to your employer informing them you are breastfeeding. Please click on this leaflet for further information.
Further information regarding your rights and continuing to breastfeed when you return to work can be found at this link - here.