Lactation

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. This sheet provides a brief guide that can help you through the first few days of feeding, but it is not intended as a substitute for the guidance of your pediatrician or lactation expert.

 

 

Try to breastfeed as soon as possible (within one hour) after delivery of your newborn. Even if baby just licks and "nipples" at the breast, that's a good beginning!

 

Practice skin-to-skin in the hospital and once you are home. Strip baby down to the diaper and keep him/her close on your bare chest as much as possible.

 

The early milk is called colostrum, and it is rich in protein and antibodies. It is highly
concentrated, so baby only needs small amounts at a time.

 

Often it is hard to tell whether baby is getting any milk in the early days. Listen for swallows and try to keep baby awake during feedings.

 

Breastfeeding should not hurt! If feeding is painful it is probably because baby's latch is incorrect. Encourage baby to latch on with a wide-open mouth, taking in as much of the areola (the area around the nipple) as possible.

 

Newborns need to feed 8-12 times in a 24-hour period. Try to feed the baby every 2 hours during the day (counting from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of thenext). Most newborns will "cluster feed" during the early days and may want to be on the breast every hour at times.

 

Do not supplement with formula unless directed to by your pediatrician! Rarely does a healthy newborn need supplementation. If baby is urinating and stooling appropriately 'and has not lost too much weight, there is usually no need to supplement.

 

Westcare Pediatrics is here to provide you with the information and support you need to make breastfeeding a successful and happy experience for you and your baby!