Now that you have made the decision to breast-feed your newborn, we are here to support you in that decision. One of the first things to think about is finding a friend or family member who has had a successful breast-feeding experience. Research shows that a new mom has a more successful experience if they have this resource person. Research also has shown that breastfeeding is the best form of feeding a newborn. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers breast-feeding the preferred method of feeding. Shortly after your child’s birth, the nursing staff will encourage and assist you in getting the baby to breast-feed within the first couple of hours after birth. This is important because this is when your baby will be awake and ready to eat. After the first two hours your baby will become sleepy and may not want to wake for feedings.
Advantages of breast-feeding
- Improved mother-infant bonding
- Fewer middle-ear infections and stomach flu
- Fewer hospital admissions
- Better immunity from fungal, viral, and bacterial infections
- Fewer allergies
Remember these advantages when dealing with the difficulties that can occur during the first weeks of breast-feeding.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know that my baby is getting enough to eat?
- Keep track of wet diapers
- Your baby should have one wet diaper for each day old until four or five days old. By days five-six your baby should be having at least six wet diapers a day.
What should I do if my milk supply decreases?
- Nurse more frequently
- Increase fluids
- Eat a balanced diet
What is nipple confusion?
A baby can become confused by the use of any artificial nipple, as it requires a different type of sucking. If your baby is not sucking properly at the breast, he/she will not be able to stimulate your breast to produce enough milk.
What if I don't like to drink milk?
You do not have to drink milk to produce milk. Your body does not require more calcium during lactation. You can add other sources of calcium diet. You do need four to five servings of calcium per day.
When do I wean my baby?
There is no set age at which to wean your baby. If possible, it should be a slow gradual process. Consult your baby's doctor or lactation consultant for more information.
What is a nipple shield?
It is a rubber nipple used to overcome the problems posed by flat or inverted nipples. Shields are only used as a last resort and on a temporary basis. They are recommended on limited and individual basis.