How to get the best start to breastfeeding
Breast milk provides all the nutrition your baby needs for the first six months of life and can give your baby most of their nutrition for the first year of their life and beyond. Breast milk also helps to protect your baby against a range of infections, allergies and other medical conditions.
It’s a good idea to start talking about breastfeeding in early pregnancy. Any fears or concerns that you may have are best addressed early so that you can deal with them before you are breastfeeding your baby.
We often expect that breastfeeding will come easily because it’s ‘natural’, but like any new skill it needs to be learned. It requires time, patience and plenty of practice, as well as an understanding that it may not always go as planned. Many midwives and lactation consultants are highly skilled in teaching women to breastfeed in a way that is very supportive.
At Jessie McPherson Private we have support in place to give you the best start possible on your breastfeeding journey. Our birth and parenting education includes a breastfeeding workshop and we have a dedicated lactation consultant on our maternity ward. Our Lactation Consultant provides a breastfeeding clinic that can be accessed during and after your stay with us, learn more: https://monashheartprivate.org/breastfeeding-support-service/
Tips for breastfeeding success
It’s World Breastfeeding Week from 1-7 August 2019, here our lactation consultant Joelleen Winduss Paye shares her tips for breastfeeding success.
- Feed your baby soon after birth, preferably within the first hour.
- Place undressed baby directly onto your chest (skin-to-skin).
- Make sure your baby is well attached to the breast, we can provide help with this.
- Before the milk ‘comes in’ many babies may feed up to 12 times in 24 hours.
- Ideally, you and your baby should remain together after the birth so baby can breastfeed according to need throughout the day and night.
- If your baby is having difficulty attaching to the breast, you can hand express and give colostrum to them.
- Breastfeeding is a learned skill and you may need help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
- Avoid the use of dummies, teats and supplementation unless a medical professional has advised you to use them.
- Make sure you are sitting comfortably and you are well supported.
- Encourage your baby to stay awake during the feed, and is actively sucking while feeding at the breast. Feeding skin-to-skin and gently stroking your baby will help.
- You know your baby is feeding correctly when after some initial short frequent sucks to stimulate milk flow, your baby begins to swallow. You should be able to see or hear your baby swallowing.
- Get lots of rest, eat well and stay hydrated.
- Come and see me at the Jessie McPherson Breastfeeding Clinic, I’m here to help during your stay and you can come back and see me once discharged if needed.
Download this booklet from the ABA:
The following links may be helpful: