Establishing Breastfeeding

    By: Lamaze International on Apr 24, 2012

    Establishing Breastfeeding

    Tips for Establishing Breastfeeding

    From The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence.

    Breastfeeding is nature’s most powerful way of helping mothers recover from birth, learn mothering skills, and fall in love with their babies. It’s also nature’s way of ensuring that babies are well nourished, protected against disease, and allowed to develop optimally. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed (no water, juice, formula, other fluids, or solids) for six months and continue breastfeeding until at least one year. Following are some ways you can get your breastfeeding relationship off to a good start.

    Before Birth

    • Talk to women who are breastfeeding or have breastfed babies.
    • Watch babies at the breast.
    • Attend a La Leche League meeting.
    • Get the name of a lactation consultant.
    • Buy a breastfeeding book.
    • Remember that your body knows how to breastfeed your baby.
    • Talk to your caregiver about delaying newborn testing and other routine procedures.

    In the First Hours

    • Keep your baby skin-to-skin with you.
    • Watch for early infant feeding cues.
    • Nurse your baby within the first hour after birth.
    • Delay newborn tests and routine procedures until after the first breastfeeding.
    • Remember that colostrum is nutrient-rich and that your baby doesn’t need to eat much in the first hours and days of life.

    In the First Days

    • Sleep in the same room with your baby and be together as much as possible.
    • Don’t limit your baby’s time at the breast or hold your baby off between feedings.
    • Let your baby finish the first breast before offering the other.
    • Learn how to tell if your baby is swallowing milk.
    • Become a confident nurser by learning how to tell if your baby is getting enough milk and trusting that you will produce lots of milk.
    • Learn how to position your baby for a good latch.
    • Don’t use bottles or pacifiers until breastfeeding is well established.
    • Be patient with yourself and your baby as you both learn to breastfeed.
    • If you choose to have your baby circumcised, wait at least twenty-four hours after birth and insist that he be given pain medication. Be prepared to provide extra soothing and wake your baby to breastfeed if necessary.
    • If you need to be separated from your baby, pump your breasts and store your milk.
    • Don’t supplement your breast milk with formula unless there is a clear, compelling health reason.
    • Remember that colostrum is nutrient-rich and that your baby doesn’t need to eat much in the first hours and days of life.

    In the First Weeks

    • Remember that responding to your baby's needs does not spoil him; rather, it’s the only way you can teach your baby to trust you.
    • Sleep in the same room with your baby and be together as much as possible.
    • Wear your baby in a sling or other soft baby carrier throughout the day.
    • Nurse your baby whenever he or she shows signs of hunger (eight to twelve times every twenty-four hours).
    • Learn to nurse lying down in bed so you don’t need to wake fully to nurse at night.
    • Remember that breastfeeding is a top priority.
    • Be patient with yourself and your baby as you learn to breastfeed.
    • Stay confident, even if your breastfeeding journey is bumpy.
    • Call a lactation consultant, your local La Leche League leader, or the La Leche League hotline (847-519-7730) if you have breastfeeding problems or you’re concerned about whether your baby is getting enough milk.
    • Remember that breast milk is all the nutrition your baby needs for at least six months.

    If You’re Not Able to Breastfeed

    Here are some tips to promote bonding and development even if you’re not able to breastfeed your baby:

    • Sleep in the same room with your baby and be together as much as possible.
    • Wear your baby in a sling or other soft baby carrier throughout the day.
    • Respond to your baby’s needs before he or she cries.
    • Hold your baby skin-to-skin, make eye contact, and talk to your baby during feedings.
    • Hold, look at, and talk to your baby even when you’re not feeding.
    Released: April 24, 2012, 7:03 pm | Updated: June 11, 2013, 9:55 am
    Keywords: Birth Day | Establishing Breastfeeding |


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