If you’re on WIC be sure to hook up with a CLC or IBCLC or ask your physician for a referral to one. These are Certified Lactation Consultants and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have worked many hours with breastfeeding moms and passed arduous exams to obtain these credentials.
1. Prepare for breastfeeding
Get the information and training you need about breastfeeding during pregnancy. Check with your health care professional and/or hospital to see if and how they teach and support breastfeeding.
- Clarify any breastfeeding and parenting concerns
- Read materials and watch programs on breastfeeding
- Take a class on breastfeeding
- Choose a baby-friendly hospital; direct the staff not to give your baby formula or water
2. After birthing
At birthing, breasts release colostrum, which is rich in nutrients and antibodies. It’s important to breastfeed within an hour of birthing to accelerate milk production and postpartum hormones, as well as to help the breasts manufacture mature milk.
- Breastfeed early and often
- Do not give your newborn pacifiers or bottles
3. In your room
Have your newborn stay with you in hospital room.
Learn your newborn’s hunger signals.
5. Trust your baby
The size of your breasts, large or small, makes no difference in breastfeeding success.
- Trust your baby to eat the right amount
- Trust yourself—you’re producing just the right amount of milk
Position yourself and baby properly and comfortably for pain-free and efficient nursing.
7. Nursing frequency
Nurse whenever baby wants to eat (on demand) and very frequently the first few months (as often as eight to twelve times every 24 hours). Your baby will have growth spurts and have varying appetites, so feed accordingly.
8. Offer both breasts
Offer both breasts at each feeding, alternating the breast you start with, so that both breasts get emptied of the “hind milk” (the high-fat milk expressed last).
- Alternate breasts to prevent tenderness
- Mark the last breast with a safety pin on your bra; start with the other breast next time
- Allow nipples to air dry when possible
9. Burping baby
Burp baby when you switch breasts and at the end of each feeding.
10. Breastfeeding in front of others
Get over embarrassment about breastfeeding in front of others, and don’t worry about leaks that occur naturally when you hear a baby cry or even think about your baby.
- Wear nursing pads and a good support bra day and night
11. The need for support
Find, ask for, and accept help and support from family, friends, and experts.
- Join a breastfeeding support group or get lactation counseling
12. The going-back-to-work nursing routine and pumping
Prepare early for the going-back-to-work nursing routine and pumping. Nursing before work, soon after work, and in the evening, keeps up adequate milk supply. IT IS A LAW IN NEW YORK STATE THAT YOUR EMPLOYER PROVIDE A SPACE (NOT A BATHROOM) AND TIME FOR YOU TO PUMP DURING WORK. WIC Can also help with quality pumps and how to use them!
- Help baby adjust to drinking breast milk from a bottle
DON’T LET THOSE FORMULA COMPANIES THAT ARE RAKING IN BIG BUCK AT YOUR EXPENSE FOOL YOU – THERE IS NO FORMULA THAT IS JUST LIKE BREAST MILK!