Breastfeeding 101: Getting the best start possible
Sundays are for moms – and moms-to-be! Bravado! Designs is the premier nursing clothing company and breastfeeding expert and they bring breastfeeding tips for Skimbaco readers once a month.
A lot of breastfeeding information focuses on the first few days after giving birth. But what happens during the first few hours, before your milk comes in is equally important. The key is to feed early, and feed often.
1. Feed as soon as you can after delivery. Try to start breastfeeding within 30 minutes after birth. If you cannot do this, don’t worry; just breastfeed as soon as you can.
2. Don’t be alarmed if your baby doesn’t drink much. Breastfeeding is a new experience for both of you, and will take time and practice to master. A little colostrum (“early” milk) goes a long way in a newborn’s tiny stomach.
3. Feed as often as you can. Keep offering your breast to your baby, even if she is not drinking very much. The more frequently your baby nurses, the more healthy antibodies and protein she’ll take in, and the faster your milk will come in. Do not limit the frequency or duration of these early feeding sessions.
4. Don’t panic if your baby doesn’t feed regularly. Many babies sleep for most of their first 24 hours. If she isn’t waking to nurse, try making the room a bit cooler, undressing her a little, or putting her down instead of keeping her in your arms. Even a slight stirring is an opportunity to nurse.
5. Limit the separation of you and your baby: Not only does this help you bond with your newborn, but if your baby is near you, she’ll go to the breast more often. You will also start to learn your baby’s feeding cues. If for some reason you need to be separated from your baby, don’t be afraid to speak up and let the hospital staff know that you want to be with your baby as much as possible.
6. Don’t send your baby to the nursery for the night. It may be tempting, but it won’t be more restful for you. Keeping your newborn close means quick and easy access to your breast, and will help you get the best start possible in your breastfeeding relationship.
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