Lexington Women's Health

I wish someone had told me...

Moms who have successfully breastfed their babies, can give great advice. Here are some of their gems.

Take a breastfeeding class before delivery

Breastfeeding is a wonderfully natural thing to do, but learning how can help. Spend a little time learning about what happens after delivery.

Start breastfeeding right in the delivery room

Your baby will be interested in feeding within a few minutes of birth. Keep him skin-to-skin and enjoy an early feeding.

It's all about the latch

How your baby holds your nipple and areola in his mouth is the key to comfortable breastfeeding. Make sure he opens his mouth wide and he gets a big mouthful. If it hurts, get help ASAP!

Feed throughout the night at first

No matter how tired or sore you are, you do need to feed around the clock in the beginning. This brings in a excellent supply of milk and assures that your baby starts gaining weight quickly.

Babies cry more on their second day of life

This can be upsetting and you might not know what to do to sooth your baby. Crying doesn't always mean hunger. Hold your baby skin to skin and offer the breast frequently. This fussiness is common and is called "Second Night Syndrome", although it can happen during the daytime also.

You don't need a breast pump right away

Your newborn is the best pump and frequent feedings get breastfeeding off to a good start. If a breast pump does become necessary for a medical reason, a lactation consultant (IBCLC) can give you advice about the best kind for your situation.

Use it or lose it

The best way to make more milk is to feed the baby. An empty breast makes more milk. Don't skip breastfeeding sessions in the early days.

Don't wait too long to try a bottle

Breastfeeding exclusively for the first 4-6 weeks gets breastfeeding off to a good start. But if you are planning on going back to work or will need to give a bottle for some reason, start between 4-6 weeks and offer it weekly to keep the baby in practice.

The best milk to use in the bottle is your pumped breastmilk. A breast pump can make that an easy thing to do.

If you are going to be home with your baby, you can skip this step.

You might make too little or too much milk for your baby

Feed often in the early days to get a good start. If your baby is not gaining weight well or you are overflowing with milk, get advice from a lactation consultant (IBCLC).

Nurse lying down

Recline with your baby "on top of you" or lie on your side while your baby feeds. Use pillows to get yourself and your baby comfortable. Moms need a little rest too.