Tips for Breastfeeding
Irit Librot, RN, Lactation Consultant at the Birthing Center at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for over 24 years. She has the following tips for mothers beginning breastfeeding:
Sleep when the baby sleeps. Fatigue is the #1 stress for new parents. Take time to settle into your new family routines and limit visitors. Too many visitors may add to your fatigue.
If you have any pain while breastfeeding seek help immediately. Although some discomfort can be associated with early breastfeeding, sharp pain, pinching, blisters or cracks arenot considered normal.
When in doubt, hold your baby. Babies are made to be held. They are comforted and feel safe by close human contact. Their systems regulate better and oxygenate more efficiently when held. Put your baby skin-to-skin on your bare chest to calm your baby if he/she is fussy. Once clam, your baby will naturally seek you breast. Frequent feeding when baby shows feeding cues will help breastfeeding be successful.
Be sure to get good information about latching on a baby. A good latch is important for baby to be able to get mother's milk. It also prevents sore nipples. Ask for help while in the hospital. Illustrations and videos are very helpful.
If in the first week engorgement starts to develop, do something to relieve it right away. Use cold packs between feedings (a disposable diaper filled with water and frozen works well), nurse baby frequently, and seek help if tender firmness occurs.
Most babies don't settle into a definite feeding or sleep schedule until at least two months of age. While some babies might feed every 1 1/2 to 2 hours at first, others feed “banquet style,” clustering several feedings fairly close together (sometimes with a small nap in between) before falling into a deep sleep.
Don't hesitate to ask for help: You can contact the Breastfeeding Warm-line at the Birthing Center 24 hours a day at 603-448-7411 for breastfeeding support, or to set up an appointment with our Lactation Consultant. Another resource includes your local La Leche League Leaders, who provide support and local group meetings. To find one, call 1-800-525-3243.
The Birthing Center at APD is a Baby-Friendly Hospital with one of the top rates of patient satisfaction in the nation.