Breastfeeding is a
learned skill that becomes easier over time. You are more likely to succeed
with long-term breastfeeding if you plan ahead, learn the basic techniques, and know where to get help and support.
Plan ahead for breastfeeding
while you are pregnant. Doing so before you deliver allows you time to think
about how to manage the daily logistics of breastfeeding before you become too
busy with caring for your newborn.
breastfeeding class while you are pregnant. These classes usually are offered
through your local hospital or birthing center.
Be ready to start breastfeeding soon after you deliver. A baby is
typically very alert during the first couple of hours after birth. This is the
best time to start breastfeeding. A nurse or other doctor will help you with
proper latching and getting started.
After this alert wakeful time, your baby will become sleepy and
less likely to eat regularly for the next several hours. Be sure to try breastfeeding your
baby every 1 to 3 hours (even if you have to
wake your baby). Usually, a hospital
staff person checks in with you routinely. If available, a lactation consultant
may help you learn other breastfeeding
tips and positions.
You'll want to plan to breastfeed your baby on demand rather than setting a
strict schedule. Learn how to recognize your baby's hunger signs. For the
first few days, be prepared to breastfeed every 1 to 3 hours, or about 8 to 12 times
in a 24-hour period. Wake a sleepy baby to feed, if necessary. More frequent
breastfeeding stimulates your breasts to produce more milk.
Taking care of yourself will also help you to establish your milk supply.
Eat right and get rest when you are able. Also, avoid bottle-feeding your
baby breast milk until breastfeeding and milk supply are well established.
If a minor problem arises that does
not quickly resolve, get prompt assistance from a breastfeeding specialist
such as a lactation consultant or other doctor who is knowledgeable about
breastfeeding issues. Quickly addressing breastfeeding issues helps solve
problems and increases your likelihood of successful long-term breastfeeding.
If possible, arrange to have a specialist visit you at home, or make plans to
visit the specialist's office.
Have a list of resources available
to call, such as:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMary Robbins, RNC, IBCLC - Lactation Consultant
Current as ofMarch 16, 2017
Current as of:
March 16, 2017
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Mary Robbins, RNC, IBCLC - Lactation Consultant
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Last modified on: 8 September 2017