I thought this article was really good for moms just starting to breastfeed. I found it at www.utahbabyguide.com.
20 ways to Healthy, Happy Breastfeeding
by Michele Leigh Carnesecca, RN, IBCLC
1. Get support
Good support is imperative for new nursing mothers. The key is to find support from someone who really knows what they are talking about and from someone who is pro-breastfeeding. remember to love your grandma but don’t always believe everything she tells you about breastfeeding. There are many resources and lactation consultants who can help you. You can go to ilca.org for a list of lactation consultants in your area or contact your local hospital or doctor’s office for a recommended lactation specialist.
2. Stick with it
Most of the problems you will experience while breastfeeding will occur
in the first weeks, so hang in there. Breastfeeding will get easier.
3. Learn the advantages of breastfeeding If you can remember why you are breastfeeding, it will help you get through the tough times. Breast milk is healthier, cheaper and more convenient than formula, and it provides a wonderful opportunity for you to bond with your baby. Go to promom.org/101/index.html for a detailed list of the advantages breastfeeding
can offer you and your baby.
4. Have confidence in your body’s innate ability you provide all the nourishment your baby needs after delivery.
5. Breastfeed early and often
It is important to breastfeed your baby within the first one to two hours after delivery. Babies are awake and alert at this stage and it is a perfect time for your baby to get to know you. You will need assistance with the first latch. Have someone help you who knows what a good latch looks like. Many labor and delivery nurses are trained to assist with a first feeding. There are also many hospitals that have a lactation specialist to help you with any breastfeeding concerns.
6. Plan to nurse for three to four weeks before introducing a bottle of breast milk or a pacifier. Babies suck differently on a bottle than they do on a breast. Also, milk comes out a lot faster from a bottle than colostrum (the first milk after delivery) does from the breast. After having a bottle, babies can be frustrated when going back to the breast.
7. Learn the asymmetrical latch
When latching a baby on, the preferred method is called an asymmetrical latch. You can go to breastfeedingonline.com to watch asymmetrical latch videos. Basically, your baby comes to the breast with the head tilted back. The bottom lip touches the breast first about an inch below the nipple. Then, the top lip should touch the breast just over the nipple. If you can learn to latch your baby in this way, you can avoid nipple damage and your baby will get more milk.
8. Go skin to skin
When your baby is too sleepy or stressed to nurse, simply undress him/her down to the diaper.
Place your baby on your skin between your breasts and place a blanket over the top of the baby without covering the head. Skin to skin warms and calms your baby and increases your milk supply.
9. Learn the football hold
When moms struggle with latching, I always try to put the baby in the football hold. Mom has more control and baby is a little more comfortable. Sit up straight in a bed or chair. Place a pillow vertically behind your back without crossing your back or shoulder on the side that you will be nursing on. Place two pillows on the side you
will be nursing on, stacked like pancakes. Take the blankets off baby and place him/her under your breast with his/her arms hugging the breast. Slightly turn your baby into you. Hold your breast in a sandwich hold tipping the nipple up. Stroke baby ’s lip and latch in
the asymmetrical latch. You can go to breastfeedingonline.com to look at different nursing
10. Be selfish!
You will have many visitors in the hospital. In the first days after a baby is born, babies are very
sleepy. If your baby is awake and ready to feed, take advantage of it. Visitors can wait . . . baby can’t.
11. When your baby sleeps, you sleep
12. Learn the side-lying hold
This position is a must to learn so you can get some sleep. It takes a little practice,but it is worth it. You can feed your baby while you both get much needed rest.
13. Take acidophilus anytime you take antibiotics
This will help prevent a yeast infection on your nipples and will also prevent thrush in your baby ’s mouth.
14. Breasts work on a supply and demand system
The more milk you take out of your breasts, the more
milk they will produce. So, if you want to increase your milk supply, simply feed your baby more or pump more. If
your baby is too sleepy to each much in the first days after delivery — pump! Hospital grade rental pumps work best because they give the breasts more stimulation than regular pumps. Most hospitals have hospital grade pumps on the Mother/Baby floor for you to use, or you can rent them. Simply pump both breasts for 15 minutes anytime your baby is too sleepy and it is time for a feeding. You may not get anything out in the first days after delivery, but it is the stimulation that counts.
15. Feed your baby — don’t watch the clock
I help so many mothers that are frantic if their baby is not eating “like clockwork.” relax! Feed your baby when he/she is hungry. If you keep your baby with you, you can watch for feeding cues. If it has been longer than
three hours and your baby has not fed, try waking him/her up for about five minutes. If he/
she doesn’t want to wake up, simply place the baby skin to skin and pump if needed. Try to wake the baby up again in another hour or two. Your baby should be nursing at least 8-12 times in 24 hours.
16. Know how long to nurse on each breast
When nursing with colostrum, nurse on one breast for about 10-20 minutes, burp your baby, then offer the other breast. If your baby does not want to eat on the second breast, don’t worry. Just feed him/her on that side the next feeding. When your milk comes in (after about three days), completely drain one breast before you offer the second so your baby can get the hindmilk (the milk that comes out as the breast is emptied), not just the foremilk. Hindmilk will make for a happier baby
and help baby to gain weight more quickly. Many babies will just nurse on one side for a feeding. That is
fine. If you are too full on the other breast, pump that breast just enough so that you are comfortable.
17. Invest in a good pump
Remember, what you spend on a good electric pump is what you would spend on formula in one month. Cheap pumps can damage the nipples and decrease your milk supply. If you
only need to pump occasionally, a good hand pump will do (Ex. Medela Harmony). If you are going back to work full-time, get a double sided electric pump that will help to maintain your milk supply (Ex. Medela Pump in Style).
18. Know how to relieve engorgement
Your mature milk should come in about three days. After it comes in, feed your baby as often as possible. If baby is having a hard time latching, pump a little milk off of your breast to soften the areola, then try latching him again. If baby only takes one side and you are too full on the other breast, simply pump that breast just enough to relieve any engorgement. You can use cold compresses after a feeding. Ibuprofen can also help with any swelling. remember, engorgement should
only last about 24-48 hours.
19. Your nipples may be tender, but they should never be painful
If your nipples are painful, seek the help of a lactation specialist to have your baby ’s latch evaluated. Keep your nipples open to air when
you can. After every feeding, apply a small amount of lansinoh on your nipples. It does not have to be washed off before your baby nurses again. You can purchase Soothies (round gel pads) to place on your nipples between feedings as well.
20. How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk? Simple. What goes in must come out. Your baby should have one wet diaper for every day old your baby is until your baby is one week old. By day four after delivery, your baby ’s messy diapers should begin to change from black and tarry (meconim) to yellow, runny, and seedy. After a week, your baby should have six to eight wet diapers a day and four to six messy ones for the first six weeks of life. Baby should be back up to his birth weight by at least two weeks. However, it is a good idea to have your baby ’s weight checked after a couple of days after you are discharged from the hospital with a hospital grade scale. Baby should gain about four to seven ounces every week. Each feeding, you should listen for swallowing. Your breasts should also feel softer after a feeding. Baby should seem content after a feeding.
For more tips like these, you can read
Mommy’s Little Breastfeeding Book:
101 Tips your Baby Wants you to Know about Nursing.
Go to littlebreastfeedingbook.com for purchasing information.
Last edited by j.taufer; 03-16-2009 at 10:51 PM. Reason: wrong title
that's an awesome list! Thanks for sharing!!
That is a great article & I am sure VERY reassuring when you are in the middle of a BF meltdown!!!
*TTC CYCLE #40*