Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

July 27, 2009 at 1:11 am Leave a comment

Breastfeeding mom and babyThe American Academy of Pediatricians recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding is great nurture for both moms and babies. The major benefits include creating a special bond with your baby, building your baby’s immune system, starting with the colostrum (the first fluid from your breasts), and reducing your risks of some cancers and osteoporosis. It is one of the best things that I ever did as a mother. It felt so good to have special times during the day to relax and spend quality time with my two babies. I found it cheaper and easier than using formula.  Breastfeeding is Nature’s way, but it is an art that takes time to perfect.

Here are some breastfeeding success tips:

  • Tell your doctor and labor nurse that you are planning to breastfeed.
  • Try to breastfeed your baby within the first hour of life. If you have a C-section, ask to feed your baby in the recovery room.
  • Have your baby crawl up to your breast after birth, if there is opportunity for this (usually takes about 45 minutes).
  • Do not use pacifiers in the hospital or allow the nurses to give your baby sugar water or formula!
  • Room in with your baby to get to know his hunger cues (most babies suck their fist or make sucking movements with their mouth).
  • Realize that it takes several days for your milk to come in.
  • Have your baby open his mouth wide to get a good latch on. You can rub his mouth with your nipple.
  • Breastfeed at least 8-12 times a day to keep and build you milk supply.
  • Allow some time during the day for just skin-to-skin contact.
  • Experiment finding positions that feel comfortable and work best to accomplish a good latching on.
  • Keep your baby close by your bed in a bassinet for easier night feedings.
  • Drink lots of water and watch your diet.
  • Buy a good breast feeding pump if you are working. 

Don’t give up if you are having difficulties. Get help from nurses in the hospital, doulas, and lactation consultants.  Two great websites are breastfeeding.com and La Leche League.

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