Breastfeeding 101-Practical Guide

April 23, 2018

So you have decided to breast feed. Congratulations! This is one of the best gifts that you can give to your baby. Did you know that when you breast feed your baby receives “passive immunity”? Passive immunity is when your baby receives antibodies from you that essentially provides them protection against many illnesses. It is an indirect way of vaccinating your baby. This is the one characteristic of breast milk that can not be duplicated in formula.

Here are some practical tips for breast feeding:

  1. Please remember to stay well hydrated. Drink lots of water before and after you breast feed.
  2. Nurse for about 20 minutes on each breast and DO pay attention to your baby’s suck. Pay attention to the suck and swallow and how often the baby has to suck to then swallow. This will give you an idea of how much milk is left in that breast! Remember you have a whole other breast full of milk on the other side that your baby wouldn’t have to work so hard to get! Change to the other breast when you notice your baby having to suck several times before swallowing.
  3. At your next feed, start on the breast that you finished on. This will ensure that you have a balanced milk supply and will allow your baby to receive both the fore milk and the hind milk (which is full of all the amazing nutrients). One tip that I find very helpful is to use a hair tie on your wrist to remind you of the side that your baby last drank from.
  4. In the first three months baby’s drink on demand and they will change their patterns of drinking to help them to grow. I do however encourage moms in the first few weeks to wake up the baby during the daytime hours if they are sleeping longer than 2 hours at a time. Most babies have their days and night reversed and sleep more during the day than at night. Remember sleeping is usually related to eating so if the baby eats more during the day then they will need to eat less at night and thus sleep more at night.

Also, remember that “change” is the theme in the first three months. It takes a while for babies to develop a routine. It takes time for you to get to know your baby and your baby to know you. Be patient with yourself. Some feedings will go very smoothly and some will be more difficult. Pay attention to your baby’s cues. Remember that this is a once in a lifetime experience so enjoy it. Every month it will get easier…I promise!

#newmom #breastfeeding #newborns #teenmoms