Breastfeeding Basics

Breastfeeding is more than a way to feed a baby — it becomes a lifestyle and an important health choice.

  • Benefits of Breastfeeding. A Gift That Lasts a Lifetime!

    Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to care for your baby. Breast milk is the perfect food for babies. It has all the right nutrients, in just the right amounts. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that feeding your baby only breast milk exclusively for the first 6 months is the best way to keep your baby healthy. WHO further suggests the continuation of breastfeeding along with other foods for the second 6 months or longer.

     

    The experience of breastfeeding is special for so many reasons, including:

    • The joyful bonding with your baby.

    • The perfect nutrition only you can provide .

    • The cost savings.

    • The health benefits for both mother and baby.

     

    In fact, breast milk has disease-fighting antibodies that can help protect infants from several types of illnesses. And mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of some health problems, including breast cancer and type 2 diabetes.

     

    Visit the following links for more information:

     

    Breastfeeding Benefits Timeline.

     

  • Suggested Reading. Plan Ahead!

    It’s good to find out as much as you can about breastfeeding before the birth. Knowing what to expect should help you feel as confident as possible when you've just given birth and want to breastfeed your baby. Here are a few resources that you may find helpful.

     

    Visit the following links for more information:

    • Breastmilk: Every Ounce Counts. A Mother’s One Stop Breastfeeding Resource

    • My Breastfeeding Plan

    A written plan can help your family and health care providers understand your breastfeeding goals and expectations.

  • The Early Days of Breastfeeding. Got Breastmilk!?

    Having skin-to-skin contact with your baby after the birth will help to keep your body warm, calm your baby, and help with the first breastfeed. You will have a special type of breastmilk called “colostrum” which is very rich. Colostrum is all the food your new baby needs. If you are breastfeeding your baby often during the first 2 days, about 3 to 4 days after your baby’s birth your regular breast milk will “come in.” Your breasts will feel fuller at this time. One of the best ways to tell that you have enough milk is how often your baby has a bowel movement. After your milk comes in, your baby should have more than 4 bowel movements every day. Weight gain is another good way to tell that your baby is getting enough milk. It is normal for babies to lose weight in the first few days after birth. But your baby should gain weight after your milk comes in. Human breastmilk is not like cow’s milk. Your breast milk has a better mix of fat and proteins, which is perfect for human babies!

     

    The more you breastfeed, the more milk you will have. At first, you will probably need to breastfeed your baby 10 or 12 times every 24 hours. This will give your body the message to make lots of milk.

     

    Watch your baby to learn the signals that say, “Feed me.” When you see your baby do these things, offer your baby your breast:

    • Soft cooing, sighing sounds, or stretching.

    • Hands to mouth, sucking movements.

    • Clenching fists.

    • Crying is a late sign of hunger, don’t wait until then!

     

    Do not wait until the baby cries to start a feeding. A great time to offer your baby the breast is just as the baby is waking up.

     

    If you are having pain or any other problems with breastfeeding, get help right away!

     

    For more information on what to expect in the early days of breastfeeding visit:

    Breastfeeding Positions

    How to Latch

    • Baby Feeding Cues

    • First Feedings

    Your Nipples

    • All About Breastmilk

    • Your Milk Supply

    • Is Baby Getting Enough?

    • More Helpful Tips for Success

    • Local Resources

    • Helpful Links

  • Breastfeeding Basics and Beyond. Home Sweet Home!

    Going home can be an exciting time as you settle into a new routine. You may also feel nervous about breastfeed at home without the help you had in the hospital. The links below may help as you become more comfortable in your new environment.

     

    Other helpful links...

    Great Teaching Tool for New Mothers.

    This video from Global Health Media shows why good attachment is so important to breastfeeding success.

     

    Watch video

  • Back to Work and Breastfeed!? Yes, You Can!!!

    Congratulations for making the healthy choice to breastfeed your baby! Mothers everywhere have found that they can continue to give their babies important health benefits even after they return to work. The resources below may be  helpful as you take those first steps back to your working life.

     

    Visit the following links for more information:

    • Your local birthing facility or private lactation consultant may offer classes to prepare you for back to work and breastfeeding. Visit Local Resources.

     

    • Mother Friendly Worksite Information.

     

    • Back to Work Checklist.

  • Postpartum Depression. Need Help!?

     

    Visit the following links for more information:

    Patient Links:

    Resources for Postpartum Depression

    FAQ Postpartum Depression

    Self-Care Postpartum Discharge Instructions

    Postpartum Changes: Taking Care of Yourself

  • Common Breastfeeding Challenges. Not to Worry!!

    Breastfeeding can be challenging at times, especially in the early days. But it is important to remember that you are not alone. Lactation consultants are trained to help you find ways to make breastfeeding work for you. And while many women are faced with one or more of the challenges listed here, many women do not struggle at all! Also, many women may have certain problems with one baby that they don’t have with their second or third babies. Read on for ways to troubleshoot problems.

     

     

    Visit the following links for more information:

  • Breastfeed in Public!? Of Course! The Law Protects You!

    A special bond occurs when a mom is breastfeeding her baby. Breastfeeding is for anytime, anyplace. Although the idea of sharing these moments in public may cause concern, moms should know that it is their legal right to breastfeed anywhere they are allowed to be. Breastfeeding in public can be done with confidence — most moms are already nursing in public and going completely unnoticed.

     

    For more information visit:

     

     

     

    Breastfeeding Law

  • Pumping and Breastmilk Storage. Liquid Gold!

    If you are unable to breastfeed your baby directly, it is important to remove milk during the times your baby normally would feed. For more information on pumping and the storage of breast milk visit:

     

     

    • For working moms

     

    • What the law says

Online Information Here!

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Promote, protect and support breastfeeding through education, outreach and advocacy.