Saturday, May 14, 2011

10 Tips for a Successful Start in Breastfeeding

Getting ready to breastfeed begins in pregnancy. Your body is preparing for this next act in the weeks before birth. Excellent prenatal nutrition and a drug free birth will help you get off to a good start. Although, it is still possible to breastfeed following a medicated birth, it may just take a bit of extra effort especially if baby is sleepy.

  1. Continue your prenatal diet for the first few weeks after birth to help nourish your changing body as it heals and takes on the added task of making milk. A good prenatal vitamin, plus lots of healthy, fresh fruits and veggies, lean sources of protein and whole grains is a good place to start. 
  2. Educate yourself on breastfeeding before the big day! Attend La Leche League meetings, read books by breastfeeding professionals like Jack Newman and Dr. Sears. 
  3. Assemble a breastfeeding nook in the main part of the house. Establish a comfy chair that you can relax in to nurse your baby. Put a small table next to the chair to hold your water, snack and any books you are reading. Stash a basket of baby essentials within arms reach. Diapers, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, burp cloths and an extra receiving blanket can be a lifesaver if baby needs a quick change in the midst of a breastfeeding session. 
  4. Continue to use your prenatal relaxation exercises as you nurse your baby. Your body produces hormones that further encourage relaxation and release. Breathe deeply and enjoy the nursing sessions. Your milk will flow easier and more efficiently if you are relaxed. 
  5. Keep a breastcream on hand if your nipples become dry or irritated. Lanolin, raw coconut oil and pure vitamin E are healthy options. 
  6. Nurse your baby when he is hungry. 
  7. Offer both breasts at each nursing session.
  8. Start with the second breast at the next nursing session. (wear a stretchy bracelet on your wrist that  you put on the wrist of the side that you ended with.)
  9. Make sure baby has most of the aerola (dark part of the nipple) in his mouth.
  10. Relax and be in the moment with your baby. Enjoy these fleeting baby days!

Suggested resourcs:
  • La Leche League International   
  • Dr. Sears                                  
  • Dr. Jack Newman                     

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