Take a breastfeeding class before delivery
Breastfeeding is a wonderfully natural thing to do, but there’s also a lot to learn. Knowing what to expect can go a long way toward your success.
Find a class nearby and sign up well in advance of your delivery date.
Start breastfeeding right after delivery
Your baby will be interested in breastfeeding within just a few minutes of birth. Keep him or her skin-to-skin and enjoy an early feeding. Your milk won’t be in right away; instead will produce a substance called colostrum that will help your baby off to a healthy start.
A good latch is everything
The amount of comfort you feel during breastfeeding will largely be based on your baby’s attachment to the areola. Make sure he or she opens their mouth wide and he gets a big mouthful. If it hurts, get help ASAP!
Feed throughout the night at first
No matter how tired or sore you are, you do need to feed around the clock in the beginning. This brings in a
excellent supply of milk and assures that your baby starts gaining weight quickly. That waking a sleeping baby thing is a myth. Your baby will need to feed every 2-3 hours.
Babies may cry more on their second day of life
It can be upsetting and you might not know what to do to sooth your baby. Crying doesn’t always mean
hunger. Hold your baby skin to skin and offer the breast frequently. This fussiness is common and is called “Second Night Syndrome”, although it can happen during the daytime also.
Use it or lose it
The best way to make more milk is to feed your baby. An empty breast makes more milk. Don’t skip breastfeeding
sessions in the early days. Your body is self-regulating and determines how much milk to produce based on your output.
Don’t wait too long to try a bottle
Breastfeeding exclusively for the first 4-6 weeks gets breastfeeding off to a good start. If you plan on going back to work or will need to give a bottle for some reason, start between 4-6 weeks and offer it weekly to keep your baby in practice. Be sure to use your breastmilk in the bottle! A breast pump will make short work of this task.
You may need to be proactive with your milk supply
Feed often in the early days to get a good start. If your baby is not gaining weight well or you are overflowing with milk, get advice from a lactation consultant (IBCLC).
Attend a breastfeeding moms group
Just seeing other moms breastfeed and chatting with them can be a wonderful reassurance. There will often be lactation consultant there who can answer questions and help you trouble shoot problems.
Nurse lying down
Recline with your baby “on top of you” or lie on your side while your baby feeds. Use pillows to get yourself
and your baby comfortable. Moms need a little rest too.