Care for Baby Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I breastfeed my baby?
Breast milk protects the baby against infection and is the best nutrition to help the brain grow.
If possible, you should feed the baby at least every 2 - 4 hours. Some mothers may not be able to breast feed that often, and can supplement with milk formula.
You should not give your baby anything other than milk and formula for the first 6 months
How should I care for my breasts while breastfeeding?
Following delivery, your breasts will begin to produce milk. In this process, they can become tender and swollen.
To prevent any complications, ensure that your breasts are always soft and empty to avoid engorgement. If the baby has not finished the milk, be sure to still express the milk and save it for later use.
In addition, make sure to keep the breast clean and wear a fitting brassier.
What should my baby's stool look like?
Your baby's stool will change over the course of the first few days.
Days 1 - 2: Stool will be thick, sticky, and black
Days 3 - 4: Stool will be lighter, yellower, and less sticky
Day 5+: Stool will be mustard yellow; formula-fed babies have darker yellow stools
You should only be worried if the stool is chalky and white, if there is blood, or if there is black, sticky stool after the first 3 days.
You can make sure your baby is getting enough food by checking diapers.
Days 1 - 3: The baby should have 1 - 3 wet diapers and 1 - 2 dirty diapers
Days 4 - 5: The baby should have 4 - 5 wet diapers and 3 dirty diapers
Days 6 - 7: The baby shoudl have 6 wet diapers and 4 dirty diapers
What are the danger signs I should look out for in my baby?
If you see any of the following signs, take the baby to the hospital immediately!
- Difficulty feeding (less than 6 times in 24 hours)
- Drowsiness (seems drowsy, less active, hard to wake)
- Excessive vomiting (swollen stomach and vomits all feeds)
- Swelling (umbilical cord is red, smelling, or swollen)
- Reduced nappies (less than 5 wet nappies in 24 hours) But please note that not passing stool for 1 or 2 days is normal for an exclusively fed child
- Difficulty breathing (visible ribs, grunting sounds)
- Yellow or pale color
What should I expect with breastfeeding in the first week?
For the first few days the mother will make small amounts of colorless, thick milk called colostrum. Make sure not to throw this milk out. It is very nutritious and protects your baby from infection.
After 3 - 5 days your breast milk supply will increase and you may notice swollen lumpy breasts, a low fever, and some breast discomfort. This is normal.