Breastfeeding Support

Making the decision to breastfeed is an important choice for mothers to  make. There are many advantages to mother and baby, such as facilitating  bonding between mom and baby and decreasing the risk of chronic diseases  such as diabetes. Breastfeeding also helps protect baby from infection and  allergies. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, the  American Academy of Pediatricians and the Association of Women's Health,  Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses all recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the  first 6 months of life. Despite the advantages to breastfeeding, for many  women, breastfeeding can be challenging. Below are some tips to help women  successfully breastfeed. 

1. Put baby to the breast right away. Skin to skin contact with baby  helps regulate baby's temperature but also helps start the breastfeeding  process. Do not worry if you do not know what to do as this is comforting  for both you and baby. 

2. Make sure baby is latched properly: Appropriate latching is the key  to successful breastfeeding. Proper latching helps minimize pain with  breastfeeding. Postpartum nurses and lactation nurses can help in  determining if baby has an appropriate latch and are frequently able to  assist with troubleshooting. 

3. Get comfortable: get in a comfortable position for breastfeeding  with good lumbar support. Breastfeeding pillows or even regular pillows can  help in getting you and baby in the proper position. There are different  ways to hold baby when breastfeeding including the cradle, the cross-cradle  and football holds. Your lactation nurse can help you with finding a  position that works well for you 

4. Drink plenty of water: Remember to stay hydrated. The more fluids  you drink, the better your breast milk supply may be. 

5. Eat healthy and continue your prenatal vitamin: What you eat, can  also determine the nutrition content of your breast milk. Make sure to eat a  healthy, balanced diet, with fruits, vegetables, lean protein and complex  carbohydrates. Continue to take your prenatal vitamin to help maintain your  iron levels. 

6. Breastfeed on demand or every 2 hours: The more you breastfeed, the  more breast milk your body will produce. Keep a log of your feeding times.  If possible, breastfeed for at least 15 minutes on each breast. 

7. Remember to take a break: breastfeeding can both be tiring and  difficult. Be sure to take some time to engage in self-care. Having a breast  pump and pumping milk for storage can allow family members participate in  caring for baby and give you some personal time. 

You may encounter other problems while on this journey. Your medical  provider can assist you with overcoming some of the hurdles. While we  promote breastfeeding, we recognize not all breastfeeding problems can be  overcome. Ensuring baby is well fed and healthy is important. Sometimes,  this may require supplementing with formula. Your pediatrician in the  hospital or at home will let you know if supplementation is necessary.