As a Lactation Consultant it is important to me that every family have the best opportunity for breastfeeding success possible. Here are my top ten steps for breastfeeding success. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support, whether you are here in the Southington / Connecticut area, or elsewhere – there is an expert certified lactation consultant near you!
1. Go to a breastfeeding support group or La Leche League meeting while you are pregnant.
Often in our communities mothers don’t have the opportunity to see other mothers breastfeed. Attending a breastfeeding support group to see and talk with mothers who are breastfeeding will give you the opportunity to see how easy it can be. Learn more about our local Southington breastfeeding support group: The Village.
2. Attend a breastfeeding class before you deliver.
Knowledge is power. By learning about how easy breastfeeding can be and how to know if things are going well you can gain confidence in your ability to be successful. Also, you will then have information about resources in your community should you need them. Live in the Southington area? Join our informative breastfeeding class!
3. Choose a pediatrician and hospital which will support your choice to breastfeed.
Make sure you have chosen a pediatrician who is supportive of breastfeeding success. Making sure they have a certified lactation consultant in their office or that they have names of IBCLC’s to provide to you if you are having questions or concerns assures you that they fully support mothers who are breastfeeding. As well, hospitals that follow the ten steps of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative will help you to be successful.
4. Breastfeed early and often.
You should be allowed to spend the first 1-2 hours after delivery in direct skin to skin contact with your newborn. During this time your baby and you will get to know each other and your baby will show you that they are ready to feed and you can breastfeed during this time. Once this is completed both of you will be ready to rest. Get your best start for breastfeeding success with a lactation consultant session during pregnancy!
5. Give your baby nothing to eat or drink except the breast.
Your baby needs nothing besides your breast milk and colostrum. Giving anything by mouth is one of the leading causes of mothers being unsuccessful with breastfeeding and feeling like they have an inadequate milk supply.
6. Do not give your baby a pacifier until breastfeeding is well established.
In the early days using a pacifier can prevent the baby from coming to the breast as often as he or she wants. This can keep you from making enough milk for the baby. The more time the baby spends at breast the more milk you will make. It is important for this frequent and good emptying of the breast to occur and pacifiers can interfere with this.
7. Room in with your baby
It is proven that mothers that keep their babies in their hospital room with them day and night are more successful with breastfeeding. Whenever we separate mothers and babies we have less opportunities for frequent feedings. The more your baby stays with you the more you can each learn from each other and the easier your first night at home will be.
8. Know where to get help if you need it
If you are having difficulties or questions knowing where to get good, evidence based help is important. Most breastfeeding problems are easily solved. Live in the Southington / Connecticut area? I am available for lactation consultations in your home and my office. Book your appointment now or call me at 860-385-1655. Not in the area? A certified lactation consultant can be found at ILCA.com or breastfeeding.com.
9. Follow your instincts.
Mothers are instinctively tuned in to their babies. If you feel there is a problem or you have questions – follow those instincts. Call for help and find an IBCLC @ ILCA.com. You can always call me at 860-385-1655.
10. Attend a support group once you and your baby are home.
It has been shown time and time again that mothers who have support and a community that applauds their efforts are more successful with breastfeeding more exclusively and for longer durations. We hope to see you at The Village breastfeeding support group soon!