- Start hand expression at 36 weeks if you are not at risk for preterm delivery
This builds up hormone receptors which help you to make the most milk! It also gets you familiar with the technique which is super helpful to do at least 5 times a day after birth (for the first 2 weeks). If you hand express into a clean container you can store the colostrum (early milk) in the freezer and bring it with you in case your baby needs a supplement after birth.
2. Golden Hour
Hold your baby skin-to-skin after delivery until baby has had their first meal.
It takes time to adjust to the outside world! It’s so bright and loud and cold! Let baby find their way to the breast and attach on their own –they can do it if we give them time.
Our bodies are also primed from labor to transfer the most colostrum in the first few hours, so make the most of it!
3. Have a Nursing Marathon for 3 days after birth
Feed often (at least 10 times per 24 hours) especially when baby is awake and calm, hold baby skin-to-skin as much as you can, and do hand expression at least 5 times per day after feeds. This tells your body to make lots of milk and helps prevents swelling (which is also called engorgement).
Keeping baby close by will help everyone rest and recover. Snuggling baby often also reduces crying!
Megan Dunn, IBCLC