Before the milk your breasts have a sweet sticky substance called colostrum. Baby sucks and it comes out, all being well. It is super dense with nutrients and antibodies and will tide baby over beautifully until the milk comes in (again, all being well).
If you choose to breastfeed you just keep putting baby to the breast on demand and they take the 'colostrum' which is the first milk. Your body works out how much baby needs from the feeds and produces the milk accordingly and comes in a few days later. Your breasts will feel full and huge and uncomfortable but this settled down a few days later once body gets used to how much milk to make for baby. Just keep feeding on demand.
If you Google "size of newborn stomach" you should find a very informative infographic. They don't need a lot at first. Newborns also have what's called brown fat as a source of calories for the first few days
Feed on demand and don’t let anyone talk you out of it! I regret letting people put there 2 pence in. Colostrum is apparently really sweet tasting, bub will love it, your milk supply will increase dramatically after a day or two and will then be whatever is needed. Did you BF your first?
Actually you may end up needing to feed a bit more often than 'on demand' in the first few days, as some babies can be born very sleepy and can need a bit of prompting to get started (looking at you, DD, who couldn't be arsed to demand or take a feed until day 4).
With my first it got to the second or third night and I literally had no colostrum left as she hadn't left my breast for hours and she was screaming in hunger. The midwife suggested giving her a little formula through a syringe so she an me could sleep. She took a tiny amount that fees and the next one and it allowed us both to get some rest and my colostrum to build back up. Didn't need it again as my milk came in.
With my second daughter on the second night the same thing happened on the second night. She was frantically ducking and I couldn't get a drop out. So I asked midwife to cup feed her formula. We both got a few hours sleep and carried on feeding after that.
With my son it never happened as he was satisfied and never drank me dry so to speak and my milk came in super quickly.
Do whatever you need to do. Lots of people say oh there's plenty colostrum there for them. Nope there sometime isn't. If I hadn't of got a rest and few hours sleep after the small formula feed we gave I'd of been exhausted and likely gave up on breastfeeding completely as the babies were also frantic with hunger.
I had a very very sleepy baby so I was hand expressing colostrum to syringe feed her. But on night 2 the paediatrician came and said, we need to get a feed into this baby. So she had a cup feed of formula and really perked up enough to fed properly. Milk came in day 3 and we didn't look back.
I had to hand express colostrum onto a (sterilised) teaspoon and then use a 1mm syringe to feed DC1. They were very sleepy and didn't wake to feed, lost 13% body weight and there was talk of admission to paeds to ensure they weren't dehydrated (born at home). Thankfully DC did a wee all over the consultant and proved they weren't dehydrated so we didn't need admission in the end. Ended up buying an electric pump and expressing milk to bottle feed at 6 days. I had loads of milk, they just didn't have the energy to wake up and ask for it. After a week or so it got lots better and we had no issues with latch once they had the energy to wake up.
Colostrum is enough for most babies, but if for some reason you do need to supplement, make sure you continue to put baby to breast to stimulate your production. And if possible feed baby from a syringe or cup rather than a bottle, to avoid early nipple confusion.
Same here as gotoget & moany. Ds latched on minutes after he was born and stayed there for about 3 hours. First night he didn't wake. Second night (at home), he 'fed' from 8pm to 5am and cried in between the whole time... my colostrum was not satisfying him any more and my milk wasn't in. I caved and gave him some formula - he filled himself up and went to sleep, thank fuck. My midwife came at about 9am the same day and I cried as I told her what I done. She laughed, told me it was fine but she was pretty sure that in wouldn't have that problem again, judging by the shape and size of my boobs - my milk had come that morning. Yes, I'm sure my ds would've been fine without that bit of formula. But I wouldn't have been. From then on we ebfd and still going strong at 2yo. Do what you need to do to get you through the day/night!