August 5th, 2022
By Erin Sears-Basile
As we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (August 1st through 7th), I wanted to briefly share my favorite breastfeeding tips that helped me when I was beginning my journey as a brand new mom. For more information on each of these topics, explore our Breastfeeding section.
- Skin to skin immediately after delivery, or as soon as it can be done safely. Dr. Bill reminds his patients to position baby “cheek to breast.”
- Do your best to lower stress. The stress hormone cortisol inhibits oxytocin, which can negatively affect your milk let down.
- Bring baby to breast a minimum of 8 times per 24 hours, on-demand based on baby’s feeding cues. Remember to watch baby, not the clock.
- Have an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) assess and assist with baby’s latch to ensure effective suckling and help identify any oral restrictions.
- Room with baby. Staying close to baby will promote the strong hormonal response necessary for milk production.
- Seek immediate help and support when/if things are challenging. Surrounding yourself with supportive family and friends is crucial. La Leche League International can help connect you with a local support group.
- Utilize hand expression and pumping if baby is unable to effectively latch. Consider using an alternative delivery system such as a supplemental nursing system, syringe, or cup feeding instead of a bottle until baby’s latch and a strong breastfeeding relationship is established. Also, regular pumping helps protect your milk supply.
- Practice patience. Breastfeeding is a new skill for each mommy/baby duo and takes practice.
- Try different positions: football, cross cradle, side lying, and laid back positions are the most popular.
- Trust your body and nourish it with lots of hydration and nutrient-dense foods.