Welcome to the wonderful world of breastfeeding! As you may have heard breastfeeding is the recommended way to feed your baby. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends “exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.”
There are many reasons to breastfeed your child:
- It is the perfect food for your baby
- It’s free and always available
- It protects you and your baby from certain types of cancer and other health problems
- Babies have less gas and constipation
These are just a few, but please check out the website listed below for more information.
- The best time to start breastfeeding is within the first hour after your baby is born. Ideally baby’s should be snuggled up with their moms and doing skin to skin contact soon after delivery. I often wait to do any of my exams or even check the baby’s weight if the family wants start breastfeeding ASAP.
- Each breastfeeding experience is different for every mother baby combo. Some babies are champion feeders right away, but some babies take a little longer to perfect their breastfeeding skills. My best piece of advice to all moms: DON’T GIVE UP and BE PATIENT!!
- At the hospital, the nursing staff will help you get started and answer many of your questions. Lactation consultants are also available to help.
- Latch is important. A good latch is important to ensure that baby will be able to draw out enough milk from the breast and will also prevent sore nipples
- Does breastfeeding hurt? In the beginning many women experience a strong pulling feeling when baby first starts a feeding. This is very normal and usually only lasts for a few minutes. If you experience extreme pain during the entire feeding then baby might have a poor latch. After a few weeks of breastfeeding most women don’t have any discomfort at all.