Your baby may not be able to start eating right away after surgery. Until your baby can start eating, we can still give a very small amount of your breast milk. Colostrum is the breast milk produced in the first week of your baby’s life.
Your colostrum has many benefits for your baby!
Colostrum and breastmilk:
- Reduce the risk of infection
- Help your baby heal after surgery
- Help your baby grow and gain weight
Until your baby can eat, we can give drops of your colostrum inside his or her cheeks. This is called colostrum swabbing and it is usually done every 3-4 hours.
Please talk to your baby’s nurse about helping with colostrum swabbing. We are happy to show you how you can help!
- Start pumping early to get colostrum to use for swabbing. Don’t worry if there isn’t much. It is still very important.
- When it comes to your breastmilk, FRESH IS BEST!
- Remember to pump 8 times per day to start. This will help increase your milk supply.
- Sleep no more than 5 hours at night & pump more often during the day.
- Once you are making 25-35 oz of milk each day (per baby), you can decrease pumping to 6-7 times per day.
- You may find more information about breastmilk and pumping in the “Your Milk is Medicine” booklet.