Most babies can breastfeed minutes after birth. You will produce a liquid for your baby called colostrum in the first few days after delivery. This thick, yellowish substance is full of protein and antibodies that will help your baby fight disease. Baby has lots of stored water and fat to use while taking in this precious material. Baby's tummy can only hold a teaspoon of liquid at this age, so don't worry if it seems scarce.
While it's true that many women have no trouble breastfeeding and absolutely love it, others need assistance from a lactation consultant in hospital or a breastfeeding advocate, such as a representative of La Leche League. If you're having trouble, don't hesitate to seek help; start with your Obstretician/Gynacologist or the pediatrician if you're not sure who else to turn to.
While you're still in hospital, someone should help you put your baby to your breast as soon as possible, help your baby latch onto your nipple, and show you when you're doing it right. If you still need help after you go home, ask the staff at hospital whether they can recommend any resources.
Once your milk comes in, your newborn may want to nurse every hour. This helps your body create a milk supply perfectly tailored to your baby's needs. In just two to four days, your body will adjust to this "information," and your baby will need to nurse less often, about every two to three hours, or 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.