It’s world breastfeeding week! I work with moms everyday who are breastfeeding and I’d like to share my tips and words of advice I’ve learned.
- Don’t give up. The first month of breastfeeding can be challenging. As you continue your body will become accustomed and any pain should be gone. If you are feeling pain at every feeding readjustment of latch, lanolin, or nipple shields might be of help.
- Breastfeed within the first hour! Also known as the “Golden Hour” because of the breastmilk is a gold color and contains antibodies that help your baby fight infection. The baby will be up for about 1-2 hours after birth and then sleep for extended period of time. Nurses can also help you figure out the babies latch and help you adjust.
- Don’t pull the baby off your breast. Gently break the latch by sticking our pinky into the corner of their mouth until their mouth opens. Then let the baby down. Excess pulling can cause unnecessary pain.
- Breastfeeding babies eat often. About every 1-2 hours because breastmilk is absorbed easier then formula. Formula fed babies maybe go 2-3 hours right after birth. Nothing is wrong it’s just formula is harder to absorb for babies and stays in the stomach longer.
- It is normal for the baby to lose up to a pound after birth. Breastfed babies gain birth weight by 1-2 weeks.
- Colic can be caused for many reasons. First line of action is to remove foods that are known to cause colic and then add then back slowly to understand which foods are causing the colic (typically cows milk products, chocolate, broccoli, cauliflower, some common allergens like eggs, corn, soy, fish may be culprits, and then anything with caffeine). There is also some evidence for the use of gripe water and the probiotic lactobacillus reuteri to relieve colic symptoms.
- Your body is not a faucet. To increase your milk supply you need to increase number of times you feed the baby. You can use a manual pump or electric pump to help increase the number of times fed. Along with staying hydrated and eating snacks regularly.
- Continue to take your multivitamins. Breastfeeding requires 500 extra calories a day plus higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
- Babies should not be sleeping through the night. They are supposed to be eating every 4-5 hours at night. I know it’s hard to hear but two or more feedings at night is ideal for the baby. Cluster feeding is also common (when the baby will have short feeds over about an hour or two).
- Try to wait 3-4 weeks before introducing a bottle or pacifier. “Nipple confusion” may happen. I don’t like that term because it scares moms but sometimes after the bottle or pacifier is introduced its harder for the baby to figure out the latch for breastfeeding because it requires a different suckling action. Don’t freak out though if they are introduced – I know many moms that have made both happen.
Hopefully this advice helps. If you have any specific questions on breastfeeding feel free to ask me!
Have fun breastfeeding moms you will love this bonding experience with your baby :)!