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7 to 8 weeks old

Katie de Klee
Your baby’s development, what you need to do and some great tips for the week ahead.
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This is part 2 of a 2 part series for this developmental stage (weeks 6 to 8). Click here to read part 1 of 2.

Changes this week:
  • Your baby is now getting excited to see Mom and Dad.
  • You may be able to start expressing breast milk, which gives you a lot more freedom.
  • Vaccinations are due between 6 and 8 weeks.
How your newborn is developing:

Click here for newborn care tips for this week.

Parenting 101:
Many Moms are able to express at this stage, which means you can let your partner or even a night nurse take over a feed. If your baby is stretching the first night feed till 11pm or midnight, lactation consultant Heather Wood suggests expressing at 9pm. If your baby is having two night feeds (rather than three), the other time to express is straight after the first morning feed. Usually when you add up the 9pm and the 6/7am express, you can get half to a full feed.

Here are some tips for expressing from Heather:
  • You need a good electric pump (a hand pump is likely to give you a repetitive strain injury).
  • How you feel about expressing has a huge impact on the success of expressing. The let-down reflex (turning on the tap to allow the milk to flow) is very emotion based. If you are in pain, or stressed, or rushed, you may not get any milk out of your breasts. It’s so important to know that because some Moms panic and think the pump isn’t working or they don’t have any milk in their breasts.
  • Make friends with your pump! Give the pumping time to get going – expect small volumes the first few times.
  • Express for a period of time, not for a certain volume. Generally 7 to 8 minutes a side at 9pm, and 5 to 7 minutes a side after the first morning feed is the right amount of time.
It’s a good idea to store milk in the fridge if you plan to use it within 24 hours, and in the freezer if it’s any longer. Freezing in ice trays works well – you can buy them with lids or put them in a freezer bag to keep them from coming into contact with anything else in the freezer. When you start, you will probably express around 10 or 20ml at a time.

If you calculate the feed volume at 150ml/milk per kg of baby weight per day, a 4kg baby would need 600ml of breast milk a day, divided by on average 7 feeds, so about 85 or 90ml per feed. Once the expressed milk is frozen in the ice tray, you can turn it out into freezer bags, and defrost only what you need. There’s less wastage that way.

There are very rare circumstances in which a mother can’t breastfeed. If you have gastro, you carry on breastfeeding because you’re providing antibodies to your baby, and the same thing with a cold. If you have really bad gastro or flu, your milk will decrease for a few days and then go back to normal. Your baby will just feed more frequently for a few days while there is less milk at each feed. 
 
This week’s To Do list:
  • Book your baby’s 10-week immunisations.
  • Find a baby bottle with a teat that your baby likes.
  • Give yourself a pat on the back for getting through the first two months.
If you have 5 minutes…
Mom’s top tip.
Low droning noises (also known as “white noise”) remind your baby of your heartbeat and the other sounds of being inside the uterus. If you can’t get them to settle, turn the fan on in the background, or consider buying a white noise toy to put in the nursery.

Curious about next week? 
Click here to find out what happens next week… And the week after.

Share your thoughts and concerns.
Chat with other Moms in your area or at the same developmental stage as you in BabyGroup Forums.

BabyGroup says…
This article has been checked by Heather Wood, Nursing sister, Midwife and Lactation Consultant. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.


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