As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Congress of Obstetrician and Gynecologist encourage expectant mothers to breastfeed exclusively for six months. When you are in labor, tell your labor nurse that you want to breastfeed your baby. Ask to have your baby brought to you as soon as possible so you can start breastfeeding. Before you deliver, tell the nurse that you want to have your baby stay in your room.
When you start breastfeeding keep in mind that it sometimes takes a little while for mother and the baby to figure it out. If you are not sure it is going right, ask the nurse or lactation consultant to help you.
If the baby has to go to the nursery, remind the nurse to bring the baby back for breastfeeding. Tell the nurse not to give the baby formula, water or pacifier unless the doctor orders it.
- Brest milk is the safest and most special food for your baby. Formula just does not give you and your baby the same protection against diseases.
- The longer you breastfeed your baby the better.
- Breastfeed babies are less likely to become obese in later life.
- Breastfeed lowers your risk of getting diabetes, ovarian cancer, and some forms of breast cancer.
- Breastfeeding may help ward off depression.
- You can saves money. Unlike formula, breast milk is always the right temperature and requires no bottles to wash and sterilize.
What you need to know:
- Holding your baby skin to skin right after birth is a great way to begin.
- You can start breastfeeding right a way even in the delivery room.
- Try to nurse with in one hour of your baby’s birth.
- Baby sucking will help build up your milk supply.
- Always wash your hands before breastfeeding or pumping or expressing milk.
Caring for your breast
- Try to avoid putting soap on your nipples or scrubbing them, it can make them dry and more likely to crack.
- If your nipples are tender you may find it helpful to put a little breast milk on the nipple.
- Use breast pads in your bra to absorb any milk that might leak.
- Change your breast pad often especially if you feel that they are moist or wet.
- Look at your breast daily, checking for any red areas or rashes or anything else that looks unusual. Consult your doctor if it is not going away or you are in pain of feel ill.
Signs that your baby is getting enough milk
- In the first couple of days, breastfed babies will have 1 to 2 wet and 1 to 2 dirty diapers.
- Beginning on 2 or 3, a breastfed baby will have 5 or more wet/dirty diapers per 24 hours.
- Most babies gain between 4 to 7 ounces per week and about a pound per month in the first 4 months.