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Tips for Successful Breastfeeding

Disclaimer; the assistance that you receive via this website is not meant as a substitute for professional guidance from your local health care professional. Please seek help from your local health care professional or IBCLC if you are experiencing problems with breastfeeding or if you have continuing concerns.

1. Keep baby close.
 
           Babies thrive when they are close to their mothers.  Having baby close to you will strengthen the bond you share.  Spend time in a quiet, darkened room and connect with your child.  Drink in the face, ears, fingers and toes. You have created a wonderful being! Mother's bare chest is the place to be, this is your baby's habitat, where a human infant belongs.  If baby is kept skin to skin on Mom's chest immediately after birth, the natural instinct for your baby to find the breast and eventually latch on unassisted can take place. Babies know how to breastfeed - but they need to be in the right place.  Check out this July 2010 link on the importance of skin to skin contact for all babies.

2. Know how to recognise that baby is getting enough milk.   

            Ask your nurse/Lactation Consultant/breastfeeding support person to help you learn how to recognize the pause in the chin when baby is actually drinking milk from the breast.  Check out some videos and watch for the tell tale signs of swallowing.  Always remember that what goes in has to come out.  A breastfed baby needs to be having 5-6 heavy wet diapers by day 6 and at least 2-5 poopy diapers.

3. Work on getting the best latch possible. sleeping newborn

            A baby that is well latched will have enough nipple and areola in his mouth so your nipples will not hurt and he will be able to drink a sufficient amount of milk.  Keep working on the latch.  As baby gets older, and you become more confidant it will become easier. 

4. Take a "babymoon"

            Take baby to bed with you for a day or two.  Take the phone off the hook, sleep frequently, read a good book, watch TV, etc. Being so close to baby, getting rest and frequent nursing can make all the difference. This is especially helpful if your milk supply is low, if you have mastitis and/or are feeling run down and exhausted.  At the very least always try to sleep when baby sleeps.

5. Become Knowledgeable about breastfeeding and the early childhood period

            Learn as much as you can about breastfeeding before baby is born, if possible.  Great books include La Leche League's "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" and "Dr Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding".  With accurate information about breastfeeding you will feel more empowered and confident that you will make breastfeeding work for you and your baby.  Knowledge is power!

latched baby

6. Seek out other new mothers. 

            Seek out mothers with babies close in age and a little ahead of your own and learn what to expect as your baby grows.  Learn from other women who have breastfed their children.  La Leche League is an amazing support for breastfeeding women.  Don't isolate yourself at home.  Seek out playgroups and new mother support groups.  Ontario Early Years Centres are a great place to start.
 

7. Don't have any formula in the house when you get home

            Don't accept any free formula from the hospital when you are discharged and don't go out and purchase any to have on hand "just in case".  Giving out free samples of formula by hospitals contravenes the WHO International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.  Having formula readily available increases the probability that you will give some to baby and so experience difficulties in latching to the breast and/or a compromised milk supply as well as increase the risks to baby from receiving the formula itself.


8. Let others help

            When others say "is there anything I can do to help?", give them something to do!  Have a list of tasks on your fridge, "take out the garbage", "laundry", "take the dog out", "do the dishes" etc.  have your visitors choose one of them.  Let visitors help - if they ask then assume that they want to do something for you.  Don't try to be "supermum"! 

9. Be proud to breastfeed!!

            You are giving your child an amazing gift - the very best start any baby can ask for.  Be proud to breastfeed.  Learn to breastfeed discretely if you need to feel comfortable nursing in public.  Be confident in your parenting choices, trust your instincts and when everyone is giving you advice - take what works for you and your family and leave all the rest.  This is YOUR baby - no-one else's.

Home About Services Tips Local ResourcesLinks
TestimonialsThis Too Shall Pass
Baby Blues

Disclaimer; the assistance that you receive via this website is not meant as a substitute for professional guidance from your local health care professional. Please seek help from your local health care professional or Lactation Consultant if you are experiencing problems with breastfeeding or if you have continuing concerns.

Copyright 2007, Simply The Breast Lactation Services