10 Tips for Breastfeeding SuccessTry these 10 tips from the World Health Organization and the Department of Health to help you learn, adjust to, and properly plan successful breastfeeding.
While newborn babies nurse instinctively, it often takes new moms a little longer to get the hang of breastfeeding. Most lactation experts agree that attitude, planning, and technique are crucial to successful breastfeeding.
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- Get informed. Breastfeeding is best for you and your baby. Allow yourself to be aware of the benefits to provide you the “I can do it” attitude to start and continue breastfeeding. Ask a supportive health professional who can guide you through the how tos of breastfeeding and discuss other related concerns.
- Advise your caregiver. Inform your doctor and the nursery staff that you want to breastfeed so that you and your baby will have skin to skin contact immediately after delivery or within the first hour. Make arrangements for regular visits to the nursery for breastfeeding or request that the baby rooms in with you.
- Enlist your partner’s support. A child’s nutrition is a shared responsibility. Getting your husband, and even your family, to be supportive of breastfeeding allows you to be motivated to do it. There are breastfeeding meetings that couples can attend that offer practical ideas on how the fathers can contribute in nursing.
- Know your breasts. Regardless of shape and size, almost all women can breastfeed. If your nipples are inverted or you had previous breast surgery, go to a doctor for consultation to allow you to discuss ways to still make breastfeeding possible.
- Nurse within the first hour after birth. Breast feed your baby soon after birth when your baby is wide awake and sucking instinct is very strong. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that babies who are nursed within the first hour of birth are more likely to become successful breastfeeders.
- Nurse often. Frequent nursing in the early days helps you and your baby to get comfortable with breastfeeding and allows you to establish your milk supply. Learn to interpret your child’s hunger cues like being alert, putting hand near mouth, and whimpering.
- Express milk regularly. Most mothers find that they are able to produce plenty of milk and their breasts easily get engorged. Express milk manually or with a pump to relieve your breasts from fullness and to keep up your milk supply. You may use the expressed milk for your baby’s next feeding or store it for future use. Breastmilk is good for 24 hours in room temperature, up to 1 week in the refrigerator, 2 weeks in your freezer, and can be stored for 6 months to 1 year in a deep freezer.
- Hold off the pacifier. Introducing a pacifier can cause nipple confusion. Hold off its use until your breastfeeding routine is going well and your milk supply is well established, which is usually three to four weeks after delivery.
- Encourage your baby to latch on. Stroke your baby’s cheek or lower lip to stimulate latching. To determine if the baby is latched on correctly, make sure your areola and nipple are both in the baby’s mouth and positioned above his tongue. The baby’s lower lips shouldn’t be drawn into his mouth and his chin is touching your breast. Do not be discouraged when your baby has difficulty latching on. It does take practice for both mother and child.
- Get comfortable. When breastfeeding, find a quiet spot to nurse. Sit in a comfortable chair or listen to soothing music. Studies show, and as most nursing moms share, that a calm mind, body, and surrounding allows for a more pleasant breastfeeding experience.
There are a lot of books and manuals on how to make breastfeeding a successful experience. Some new moms usually seek the help of family or friends who have breastfed. There are also breastfeeding support groups who meet regularly and can help you get started and continue breastfeeding.
For more information about breastfeeding, log on to www.breastfeedingpinay.com.
SOURCE: Flyer from a collaborative project by the Department of Health (DOH), the World Health Organization (WHO), in partnership with SM Supermalls.
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