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Your new baby will gradually settle into a routine of feeding and sleeping, growing more alert and investigating her world as she stays awake for longer periods. Your baby will grow more in this period than at any other time in her life. Settle in and enjoy the process of bonding.

Q: Why is it so important to breastfeed for the first few days?
A: While the longer you breastfeed your baby, the greater the benefits, you’ll be giving your baby a better start even if you can manage it just for a few days. Breast milk is designed to provide complete nourishment for a baby for at least six months after birth. Before milk is produced, a mother’s breasts produce colostrum, a deep-yellow liquid containing high levels of protein, nutrients, and antibodies. A newborn baby who feeds on colostrum in the first few days of life is better able to resist the bacteria and viruses that cause illness. Your milk, which begins to flow a few days after childbirth when your hormones change, is a blue-white color with a thin consistency and provides the perfect balance of nutrients for your baby. Some moms are alarmed that it looks “weak” or even “skimmed” next to the rich, yellowy color of formula milk, but it is important to remember that it’s been designed this way for a reason, and provides easily digestible nutrients that are just right for a baby.
Q: How often do babies need to be fed?
A: Your baby’s appetite and needs will change constantly as she grows and develops, and it is important that she is fed when she is hungry. At the outset, you may be feeding your newborn every two hours or so, but it is almost impossible to overfeed a breastfed baby. For the first month of life, your baby needs between 8 and 12 feeds every day. As she grows and begins to take more at feeding time, she will go a little longer—sometimes up to three or four hours—between feeds. As you get to know your new baby, you’ll recognize her signs of hunger, and know when she needs to be fed.
Q: Is milk all my baby needs for the first six months?
A: Breast milk and/or formula milk are perfectly designed to be a complete food for babies, providing them with nutrients, such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, calories, as well as liquid to keep them hydrated. In the case of breast milk, your baby will get some additional benefits, such as antibodies against infections, as well as hormones, EFAs (essential fatty acids), enzymes, and living cells which fight infection. If you are bottle-feeding, EFAs and other elements, such as probiotics, may also be added to your baby’s formula to ensure your baby’s health. At present, the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, but you may feel that your baby is ready for solids a little earlier than this . If this is the case, speak to your doctor

Your baby’s tummy

Your baby’s tummy is smaller than you may think. At birth, it’s roughly the size of a chickpea, growing to the size of a cherry in the first week. By four weeks, her tummy will be the size of a walnut, and it remains much the same until she is six months old, when, in most cases, her tummy will be the size of her fist.

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