Feeding Your Baby
The choice in how to feed your baby is a personal one and one that most families put a lot of thought into. For families who want to breastfeed, many will spend a great deal of time preparing and learning about breastfeeding. While breastfeeding is natural, it is not always easy. Learning about latch, milk supply, baby feeding schedules and caring for yourself while breastfeeding is a lot to learn. When things do not go as planned, you may be encouraged to supplement or give up and move to formula. Having a supportive team who is knowledgeable can make a difference in your breastfeeding experience.
The Best Start
For families wishing to breastfeed, the best start is skin to skin immediately after delivery and allowing baby to find the breast.
It is important to let your physician or midwife and nurse know that you want the baby skin to skin after delivery and you want to delay any non-urgent procedures for the first two hours after delivery. This is a time for you to admire, smell, kiss and snuggle your newborn as he/she searches for the breast and learns how to breastfeed.
Sometimes babies are sleepy right after delivery and may not be eager to latch on right away. It’s still beneficial and valuable to have baby skin to skin with parents and helps to encourage colostrum production. Sometimes babies require special medical attention the delays the initiation of breastfeeding, pumping and feeding through a syringe or spoon can help to ensure that your baby receives optimum nutrients and the antibodies available in breastmilk. Hospitals and birth centers have pumps available to assist in situations where babies are not able to latch on immediately.
There are some physiological challenges that can make breastfeeding more difficult. These include a cleft lip or palette, a tongue or lip tie or prematurity. While these are challenges, a lactation consultant can help with suggestions to encourage a healthy milk supply and ways to feed baby.
Coming home with your baby can create some anxiety around feeding. Your breasts do not have a measuring device to allow you to know how much your baby is getting at a feeding, you may not be sure how long is too long for your baby to sleep, your baby may seem to ‘forget’ how to feed once you get home and you may worry about your baby’s weight gain. While these worries are normal, they can make it easy to want to turn to formula to ease your mind about these issues.
is a great video about self-attachment at delivery:
visit from our Certified Lactation Counselor can help you know what to expect,
what is typical and what to do if you are facing challenges. Joanne Stein is a Certified Lactation
Counselor who will provide phone consultations, Skype consultations or in-home
assistance. Certified Lactation
Counselors (CLC) have 45 hours of advanced training in breastfeeding, have
passed an exam that verifies knowledge and ability to assess the breastfeeding
parent and child. If you have had breast augmentation or reduction, have had
challenges with breastfeeding previously or you have concerns about
breastfeeding, our Certified Lactation Counselors are happy to do a prenatal
consultation to provide proactive strategies and guidance.