Disclosure :: World Breastfeeding Week is recognized August 1 – 7, 2016. This year, the World Breastfeeding Week theme is about how breastfeeding is a key element in getting us to think about how to value our wellbeing from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share.
Pictures of mothers’ breastfeeding make it look simple, but as many moms have experienced firsthand, many need help to establish breastfeeding. Many mothers worry about making enough breastmilk for their newborn. Studies show the belief of insufficient breast milk production is the most common reason why mothers wean off or introduce solid food early to their baby. When possible, it’s important that your baby receives the many health benefits associated with breastmilk during his or her first 6 months or longer. In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, we are sharing our top 10 tips to make plenty of breastmilk!
Keep up your milk supply with frequent feeds.
It’s recommended that you pump every two to three hours for a minimum of 8 pumps per day. The more often you feed or pump, the more milk your body will make. The less often you feed or pump, the less milk your body will make. It’s that simple!
Your baby only needs breastmilk, not formula.
Breastfeeding is the best for you and your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your baby have a diet of only breastmilk for the first 6 months. Breast milk reduces your newborn risk of having ear infections, respiratory illnesses or allergies. Plus, breastfeeding lowers your risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer as well as osteoporosis.
Once your baby is able to feed, begin breastfeeding as soon as possible. The quicker you feed, the quicker your baby will learn. Also, it’s important to breastfeed at the earliest sign of hunger, such as when the baby starts to suck their hands or soon as he or she wakes up.
Make sure your baby swallows.
Take the time to learn the difference between your baby’s suck and swallow. Most babies’ chins drop down low when they are swallowing. Learning the differences will help your baby get enough breastmilk.
In the first 4 week, do not use pacifiers and bottles.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you do not use a pacifier for the first month of breastfeeding. Although pacifiers are soothing, they can cause “nipple confusion” in newborns and ultimately lead to early weening.
Sleep near your newborn!
Studies show that mothers produce more milk when sleeping near their baby. Crying is a late sign of hunger, and studies also show that mothers learn their babies’ early feeding cues when sleeping near. Another tip is to nurse lying down. Nursing the baby in the side-lying position allows mom to wake up well-rested in the morning.
Be aware of your baby’s feeding cues.
Each baby is different and there is not a certain amount of time a baby should be on each breast. You should switch sides when swallowing slows down or the baby takes him or herself off the breast.
Help your baby open his or her mouth as wide as possible with lips flipped out.
Your baby should be directly facing you; chest-to-chest and his or her chin should touch your breast. Proper positioning helps to prevent sore nipples.
Plan to bring your baby everywhere and be prepared to breastfeed on the go.
If you need help, ask your doctor or lactation consultant.
Touro’s certified lactation consultants are a source of information and encouragement. They provide specialized one-on-one care and instruction to help new mothers breastfeed successfully.
Touro lactation consultants are certified International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), a certification for health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding.
Lactation consultants can assist in many ways, including: knowing if your baby is getting enough milk, teaching how to nurse multiples or babies with special needs, and training to pump and store milk safely.
To learn more, visit www.touro.com/fbc or call (504) 897-8130.
About Portia Williams, RN, BSN, IBCLC, RLC
Portia L. Williams RN BSN IBCLC is an International Board Certified Lactation Consult with 12 years of Maternal Child Experience, her personal experience as a NICU mom guides her love for supporting breastfeeding. She is a proud graduate of UL Lafayette and has been employed at Touro since 2004. Portia is a proud mom of two breastfed boys, which she tandem nursed.