Parents who have breastfed their babies have great advice. Here are some of their suggestions.
Take a breastfeeding class during pregnancy
Breastfeeding is a natural thing to do, but parents need to learn how. Parents who take a breastfeeding class during pregnancy are less likely to have problems or pain.
Start breastfeeding right away
Spend an hour skin-to-skin with your baby. This is called the Golden Hour and it’s when they are most alert and ready to get started feeding
Babies cry more on their second day of life
This can be upsetting and you might not know how to calm your baby. Hold baby skin to skin and offer the breast frequently. This is called “Second Night Syndrome” though it can also happen during the daytime.
Feed throughout the night You do need to feed around the clock in the beginning. This brings in an excellent supply of milk and takes advantage of baby’s alert time which is during the night, at first. “Cat nap” during the day when your baby is sleeping.
Attend a breastfeeding support group
Meeting and connecting with other moms can bring a lot of reassurance. The facilitator is a peer counselor who breastfed her own children and can answer questions and help you troubleshoot problems.
It shouldn’t hurt
How your baby attaches (latches) to your nipple and areola is the key to comfortable breastfeeding. Make sure the mouth is opened wide and baby gets a big mouthful.
Hold baby frequently
Skin-to-skin reduces crying, facilitates bonding, and improves breastfeeding. Use a safe baby carrier when baby is big enough for hands-free snuggling!
It gets easier
Just like any new skill it gets easier with time and the more practice you have. Ask for help when you need it.
There are lots of sources of community help Check out the resources section for Lactation Consultants and Support Groups near you.
Anytime you are unsure if breastfeeding is going well, contact a Lactation Consultant.
Signs of poor feedings
✓Feeling pain during feedings
✓Difficulty latching-on and staying on
✓Clicking or popping sounds in your baby’s mouth
✓Prolonged nursing (more than 20-25 minutes on each side)
✓Infrequent nursing (baby does not wake to feed at least every 3 hours)
✓Baby is not satisfied at the end of the feeding
✓Inadequate wet diapers and stools
✓Rapid or excessive weight loss (more than 7- 10%) during the first few days
✓Has not regained birth weight by 2 weeks
✓Slow weight gain thereafter (less than 2/3-1 oz per day in the first few months)
Megan Dunn, IBCLC