Congratulations on the decision to breastfeed. You have made a wonderful choice. Yes, there will be ups and down; but, you can do this.
(All is knowledge from the lactation consultants I saw before I became unable to produce more).
- Easily digested
- Provides the right amount of nutrients for your baby
- Closer bond with your baby
- Lower chances of hospital visits once the baby gets older
- Very good for the immune system, especially when it is colostrum
- You have a lower chance of breast/ovarian cancer, anemia, and osteoporosis
- Aids in uterus contracting to pre-pregnancy size
- It saves money
Some links with more information on benefits of breastfeeding:
10 Tips for Breastfeeding Success
- All your baby needs is breast milk! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your baby have a diet of only breast milk the firsts six months of their lives. No other drink or food is needed, unless absolutely necessary.
- Frequent Feeds. The more often you try to give your tiny human breast milk, the more you will make. If you start to give formula, your body may start to produce less.
- Feed early and often. Feed your baby when they show the earliest signs of hunger. This include: baby being awake, sucking on hands/feet/fingers, moving mouth or eyes, and stretching.
- Watch the baby, not the clock. It is perfectly okay to feed your baby longer than the usual 15 minutes each side. Your baby is still hungry if he/she is still getting milk. Try to switch sides when she/he slows down or takes him/herself off.
- Look and listen for swallowing. If you hear this, it is a good sign that your baby is getting enough.
- Baby’s mouth should be wide open (like a stout, with lips flipped out around the breast). Help your baby open his/her mouth open as wide as possible. He/she should be belly to belly, chest to chest, and his/her chin needs to be touching. Proper positioning is important.
7. Say ‘no’ to pacifiers and bottles (if you can!). It is understandable that some women stop producing, even if they have proper positioning and latching techniques. But, try not to if it is possible. This is mostly recommended in the first couple weeks. If baby has a hard time sucking, consult a lactation consultant.
8. Baby stays with you. Keeping your baby with you all the time will help you respond to your baby’s hunger cues faster than anyone else can. You know your baby best.
9. Be flexible, and take your baby. Plan to take your baby with you everywhere you go for the first few weeks, so you do not miss feedings (usually every 2-4 hours).
10. Don’t wait to ask for help from someone. If you wait too long to get the help you deserve, it may be harder to continue breastfeeding. Try to stick with it if you can because it will be worth it, for you and your tiny human.
Best of luck!