The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first six months, that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby mutually desire. Medical research has given us many good reasons to breastfeed. It has a positive impact on the baby’s health and benefits for the mother.
Your baby should breastfeed within an hour of being born and then any time he seems hungry or awake. Babies don’t have a set feeding schedule for the first two weeks. Be patient while learning and expect that your baby won’t be predictable at first. It is normal for your baby to sleep and not seem to eat much on the first day. He will act hungrier and eat more often on the second and third days. Your baby should breastfeed as often and for as long as he wants during the first two weeks. This is called “baby-led feeding.”
Breastfeed as early as possible. We recommend that you hold your baby immediately after birth and place your baby skin-to-skin on your chest. The first hour after birth – called the Magic Hour – ideally is reserved for the infant and parent to get to know each other. During this early skin-to-skin time, the closeness helps your baby regulate his or her temperature along with heart and breathing rates, and stimulates digestion and feeding behavior in your baby. It’s also very calming for both mom and baby.
Every Thursday, noon-3 p.m.,
St. Michael’s Lutheran Church
2619 Augusta St., Greenville
Led by: International Board-certified Lactation Consultants from Prisma Health
• Babies are welcome
• Wear comfortable attire
• Enjoy light refreshments
• Use baby scale for weight checks
• Drop in and out as needed (informal format accommodates you)
This is a free event, and no registration is necessary. Questions? Call 864-455-BABY (2229).
For assistance with breastfeeding, an outpatient visit at the hospital can be arranged.
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Cradle: The mother’s back is supported; her shoulders are level. Her forearm supports the baby’s back; her open hand supports the baby’s bottom. The hand opposite the nursing breast supports the breast so that the mother can observe latch-on. The baby’s chest/abdomen directly faces the mother’s. If helpful, the mother can use a pillow in her lap to bring the baby to breast level.
Cross Cradle: The infant is in the same position as the cradle hold, but the mother uses the opposite arm to hold and support the baby at the breast. The mother uses the hand of the same side being nursed to support the breast. (This position is good for low birth-weight babies.)
Side Lying: The mother is lying on her side and places the baby on his or her side facing the breast. If needed, the mother may use her lower arm or a rolled blanket to keep the baby positioned at her lower breast.
Football: The infant is tucked under the arm of the breast being used with the feet toward the mother’s back. Use a pillow behind the mother’s back to leave room for the baby’s feet. Place a pillow under the baby at the mother’s side to bring the baby to breast level.
While in the hospital, you might hear your nurse or lactation consultant talk about a latch score. This score is a way your caregivers can assess how well the baby is breastfeeding.
Latch-on is the actual attachment of the baby’s lips and mouth to the mother’s breast. A correct latch-on ensures that the baby is getting enough milk and prevents excessive nipple soreness.
Signs of a successful latch-on:
Your nipples may feel sensitive or tender as you get started, but breastfeeding should not be painful. Your breasts start making milk (colostrum) while you are pregnant so you have just the right amounts for your newborn baby—and that is amazing.
Babies normally will lose weight the first few days after birth and are usually back to their birth weight within two weeks. Your baby has a small stomach at first, and you will feed at least eight to 12 times every 24 hours for the first few weeks.
Keeping track of how often he eats and the amount of wet and dirty diapers will help you know if he is getting enough to eat.
We encourage you to wait to introduce bottles and pacifiers until breastfeeding is well established. We recommend approximately one month.
Frequency of Feeding When Establishing Milk Supply
Your milk supply is based on supply and demand. When you feed (or hand express or use a breast pump) regularly, your body will continue to produce breast milk. If you do not feed (or hand express or use a breast pump) regularly, then your body will not continue to produce the amount of milk your baby needs. For help in hand expressing, watch an informational video at newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/HandExpression.html.
Feed your infant based on the information your pediatrician and nurses give you. It’s an amazing thing that your body produces the amount of milk your infant needs—and your that milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of your baby.
Risks of Formula Supplementation
In some cases, it is medically necessary to supplement (give your infant milk substitute instead of breast milk). Your pediatrician and nurses will discuss this situation with you if applicable. However, in many circumstances, your baby will not need anything other than your breast milk. Our goal is to educate you on breastfeeding and its benefits as well as the risk of using a supplement so that you can make an educated decision for you and your family.
Mothers sometimes worry because their babies want to breastfeed more than they expected at first and wonder if their baby is getting enough milk. Early, frequent feeding helps your body establish your milk supply. Most mothers make plenty of milk for their infant without the need to supplement with formula. If breastfeeding, mothers should do so exclusively for the first six months because breast milk is all that infants need during that time. In fact, supplementing with unnecessary formula or foods can cause problems such as …
An interference with mom’s milk supply, meaning she may not make enough milk for her baby if she supplements with formula or food.
At Prisma Health, we have specially trained and certified lactation consultants who can see you during your stay. Lactation consultants are available daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with some extended coverage into evening hours. In addition to our lactation consultants, all OB/GYN nurses have received extra breastfeeding training to help our patients.
A lactation consultant is a healthcare professional who has …
A lactation consultant can perform the following services:
Our comprehensive lactation program supports breastfeeding mothers both during their hospital stay and after they go home. A certified lactation consultant likely will see you in the hospital before you are discharged.
After you go home, the Breastfeeding Helpline, 864-455-BABY (2229), is available to help you with questions or concerns, including questions about renting or purchasing a breast pump. A lactation consultant will return your
call. These consultants also offer outpatient consults by appointment.
Breast pumps are available for rent or purchase at Greenville Memorial Hospital. In addition, other breastfeeding supplies are available for purchase, such as nursing bras and camisoles.
Hand expression is a useful skill when you need to empty your breasts (such as when you are separated from your baby or your baby is temporarily unable to breastfeed). In the first few days after birth, hand expression can be more effective at removing colostrum than using a breast pump. If your baby needs a supplement in the first few days, use hand expression to provide the milk he or she needs.
The hand expression routine is simple but takes practice and patience.
Change the position of your thumb and fingers on your breast. Rotate your hand position. This step will help stimulate milk from many of the ducts in your breast. After 10-20 compressions on the first breast, switch to the other breast. Continue switching back and forth between breasts until the flow of milk slows.
For additional help, watch Dr. Jane Morton’s video.