- Do NOT worry if breastfeeding is not easy at first. Give it a chance. Both you and your baby have to learn how to do it.
- It is easiest to nurse if you can do so in a comfortable position where you are as relaxed as possible. Nursing is an important time for you and your baby. The cuddling and closeness is a special experience for you both.
- Your baby should want to nurse at least 8 to 12 times a day for the first few weeks. This is because breast milk is digested more quickly than formula.
- Make sure your newborn’s nose is not blocked while nursing.
- Usually your body will make as much milk as your child needs. The more your baby wants to nurse, the more milk your body will make.
- Contact your doctor or clinic if you have concerns about how much breast milk you have for your baby.
- It is very normal for your breasts and nipples to be very tender and even hurt the first few days. Your doctor can give you advice on how best to lessen this discomfort.
- Some women experience leaking between feedings. For this reason, they may choose to wear special nursing bra pads to help prevent staining of clothes.
- Before you go home from the hospital, you can ask the nurse caring for you and your baby for helpful tips on making breastfeeding a success. Once you are home, you may want to consult a breastfeeding expert if you have questions or concerns. Your doctor can refer you to these resources.
- Breastfeeding is usually all the nutrition your baby needs for the first six months of life. After that, you can begin adding solid foods gradually. Your baby’s doctor can give you advice on how best to do this.
- Even after your baby begins adding other foods to his diet, it is great if you can continue breastfeeding until the baby is at least on year old.
- Be sure to ask your doctor before taking any medication or herbal medicines while breastfeeding, to make sure that they are safe for baby.
Expressing Breast Milk and Storing
Some mothers, especially working moms, pump their breast milk by hand or with a breast pump so the milk is available at all time, even when mom is not present. This is a great way to continue nursing your baby even when the demands of everyday life take you away from being there all the time.
Some things to remember…
- Breast milk can be refrigerated up to 48 hours.
- Breast milk can be frozen for up to three months.
- Do not keep breast milk longer than the above times.
- If some milk remains in the bottle after the feeding, do not keep it.
When it is NOT Safe to Breastfeed
Even though breastfeeding is highly recommended, there are some circumstances when it is not safe for your baby.
Absolutely do not breastfeed your baby if:
- You are HIV-positive or have AIDS.
- You have a problem with alcohol. If you consume more than a single, occasional alcoholic beverage, you should not breastfeed. Drinking an occasional drink is acceptable as long as you wait at least two hours before breastfeeding your child.
- You take any drugs or herbs, unless approved by your doctor.
—- from First5 Advice for New Parents