Breastfeeding can be tough, and even worse if we don't know how to get off to the right start! This blog post gives some great tips on how to do that! Check out our free cheat sheet on the top 5 mistakes we make when breastfeeding and how to fix them!
BREASTFEEDING TIPS for Beginners:
The first hour after birth is called the GOLDEN HOUR. Skin to skin with mom and latching in that first hour has been associated with longer breastfeeding duration and less challenges later.
Colostrum is the milk you have in the first 3-5 days and is jam packed with immunity and is all the baby needs initially.
Milk volume increases on day 3-5. Your breasts will feel engorged/hard. They will continue making milk if they are drained on a regular basis; usually every 2-3 hours.
Babies feed OFTEN sometimes as much as 14 x a day! This gets less frequent and more efficient with time. This helps your milk supply establish. It is NORMAL
All babies lose weight in the first few days, this should generally be under 10% of birth weight. See our Newborn Post!
Latching a baby takes skill and practice; try different positions! Lean back! Relax your shoulders. Sometimes a breastfeeding pillow can help.
Learn to hand express your milk. It builds confidence and helps your supply.
Not everyone needs a pump. If you don’t plan to be away from baby for extended periods and if you have a good milk supply you probably don’t need one.
Breastfeeding should not hurt. If it hurts, unlatch and try again. If it still hurts get help early because trauma leads to more pain....and pain leads to early weaning.
Babies do not like to be put down. They need to be held and touched. It makes their brain grow....a soft baby carrier does the trick. Breastfeeding for comfort is NORMAL. Breastfeeding to sleep is NORMAL.
A baby will not latch if sleeping or if crying. Read about how to wake a baby and how to calm a baby. This is why offering your breast often is important.
Breastfeeding is not just food. It is comfort, warmth and immunity. If you are not sure what the baby needs - just offer the breast. If that doesn’t work put the baby skin to skin on your chest.
Babies do not need solids or any other drink for the first 6 months of their life. It is ok for mom to have a little bit of alcohol, and coffee in moderation, NEVER PUMP AND DUMP!
Dr. Christina Raimondi MD CCFP FCFP IBCLC