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Breastfeeding Basics 1

How soon after birth can I start to BreastFeed?

Most babies have a strong need to suck when they are first born, so if you are both well you can start straight away. Many mothers offer the breast while they are still on the delivery table. The first milk in your breasts at this time is called colostrum.

Colostrum is a special milk that is yellow to orange in colour and thicker and stickier than normal breastmilk. It is high in carbohydrates, protein and antibodies and low in fat. Its a highly concentrated food for your newborn who can only take in very small amounts of food initially.

More information on Colostrum

How do I put my Baby to the Breast?

  1. Find a comfortable position either seated or lying.
  2. Hold your baby close to you, chest to chest and chin to breast with your nipple opposite baby's mouth.
  3. Gently touch baby's lips with your nipple to encourage your baby's mouth to open wide. Make sure that your nipple and as much as possible of your areola (the darker area around your nipple) is in baby's mouth. When baby is positioned correctly for breastfeeding, it should not hurt you.

For more information on attachment go to

How often should I breastfeed at first?

Your breasts make milk in response to your baby's sucking - the more milk the baby takes, the more milk you make.

You will establish a good supply of milk if you:


Thanks to the Australian Breastfeeding Association for allowing us to reproduce this information.



Written by Nadia MacLeod