Tips for Making Breastfeeding Work

Breastfeeding

Breastfeed early and often

Breastfeed as soon as possible after birth, within the first hour of life. If you had a vaginal birth you can hold your baby and breastfeed right away. If you had a c-section or general anesthesia after the birth for a surgery, tell your doctor and nurse that you want to breastfeed as soon as you are both in the recovery room.

Breastfeed at least 8 to 12 times every 24 hours to make plenty of milk for your baby.

Keep your baby in your hospital room with you (also called“roomingin”)so you can see your baby’s first signs of being hungry. When babies are hungry they become more alert and active, may put their hands or fists to their mouths, make sucking motions with their mouth, or turn their heads looking for the breast. Crying is a late sign of hunger. Make sure you are both comfortable and follow your baby’s lead after he or she is latched well onto the underside of the breast, not just the nipple. Some babies take both breasts at each feeding, while others only take one breast at a feeding. Help your baby finish the first breast, as long as he or she is still sucking and swallowing.  Your baby will let go of the breast when he or she is finished, and often falls asleep. Offer the other breast if he or she seems to want more.Let your baby decide when to stop nursing.

Keep your baby close to you

Remember that your baby is not used to this new world and needs to beheld very close to his or her mother.Being skin-to-skin with you helps babies cry less, and stabilizes the baby’s heart and breathing rates.

Avoid using pacifiers, bottles, and supplements of infant formula in the first few week sunless there is a medical reason to

It’s best just to breastfeed to get the milk process running smoothly and to keep your baby from getting confused while he or she is learning to breastfeed.

What if...

Breastfeeding

You have pain when breastfeeding? 

Many moms report that breasts can be tender at first until both they and their baby find comfortable breastfeeding positions and a good latch. Once you have done this,breastfeeding should be comfortable. If it hurts, your baby maybe sucking on only the nipple.gently break your baby’s suction to your breast by placing a clean finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth and try again. Your nipple also should not look flat or compressed when it comes out of your baby’s mouth. It should look round and long, or the same shape as it was before the feeding.

You or your baby are frustrated? 

Take a short break and hold your baby in an upright position. Consider holding him or her skin-to-your-skin. Talk, sing, or provide your finger for sucking for comfort. Try to breastfeed again in a little while.

Your baby has a weak suck, or makes only tiny suckling movements? 

Break your baby’s suction and try again. He or she may not have a deep enough latch to remove the milk from your breast. Talk with a lactation consultant if your baby’s suck feels weak or if you are not sure he or she is getting a good feeding of milk. Your baby might have a health problem that is causing the weak suck.

You have other concerns? 

Contact a lactation consultant or your doctor for help.

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