Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA - International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

The baby's second week

Parents, especially mothers, often worry when their baby wants to feed-feed-feed at the breast in the second week. Does it mean there's no milk? Is your baby the only baby in the world doing this? Are you creating a bad habit?

Be assured that this is normal behaviour. When your baby was born, he had a very tiny stomach, which was just right for the small amounts of colostrum (the first milk) he was getting at the start. By the end of the first week and into the second week, his stomach capacity has grown - a lot. To fill up this larger stomach he needs more milk, and the way to make MORE milk is to stimulate the milk-making system by feeding very frequently.  at this age, your baby has one job to do - take lots of breastfeeds to stimulate  your breasts to make more milk. This is his WORK. Your clever little baby knows innately that if he keeps feeding his needs will be met. He doesn't have to think about this - he just does it. He is doing his JOB. Meeting his needs at this age won't create a bad habit, but will help him grow and feel satisfied.

Many mothers across Australia and across the world are also breastfeeding their new babies very frequent and some, like you, will worry whether they are doing the right thing. You are not the only one. You are doing the right thing. If in doubt, you can contact an IBCLC (lactation consultant) - see the Contact Ss page on this website or, for someone near you, visit www.lcanz.org and go to "Find a lactation consultant". Or you may want to contact the 24/7 helpline of the Australian Breastfeeding Association (see the Links page of this website).

5 Comments to The baby's second week:

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Myra Lowrie on Saturday, 18 April 2015 10:19 PM
This is a nice article about normal behavior. Many moms find themselves more on their own the 2nd week after giving birth. Partners return to work or family help leave to return to their homes or jobs. New moms need support while adjusting to their parenting role. Thank you for posting your blog. Myra Lowrie, USA
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Andy on Tuesday, 25 August 2015 3:48 PM
I would personally encourage you be extra healthy during this time. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh food and vegetables and try organic fruits/veggies as well to ensure no nasty pesticides enter the baby. It is a tough time for any Mum.
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babyvivid on Monday, 14 March 2016 1:54 PM
thanks a lot for your sharing things
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Jason on Saturday, 9 April 2016 3:25 PM
May be your baby need more nutrition that's why he need feed again and again why not you consult with your doctor for clearing the issue you face.
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Virginia Thorley on Saturday, 23 April 2016 10:04 PM
That's the point. Babies, even as young as this, are clever and know instinctively that if they keep feeding at the breast, there will be more nutrition for them, more of Mum's milk. The baby is doing his or her job! If adults don't understand this, and try to restrict or limit the feeds, this interferes with the process.
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