Breastfeeding 101 with Silver Cross Hospital
Breastfeeding is just as it sounds – feeding your baby breast milk, often directly from your breast. Making the decision to breastfeed or not is a personal matter that only you and your partner can determine. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly recommends breastfeeding exclusively (no formula, juice, or water) for the first 6 months of your child’s life. Many factors go into breastfeeding though and these are the top 5 things you need to know when starting:
- How to tell when your baby is hungry. The most common way your baby will let you know they are hungry is by crying or general fussiness. They could also lick their lips or stick out their tongue, move their jaw, mouth, or head to look at your breast, put their hand in their mouth, open their mouth or suck on things.
- Will you make enough milk to feed? As time progresses and your baby grows, they will require more and more milk causing your breasts to respond. Should your breasts struggle to continue producing milk, you can supplement with formula and you can add solid foods at 6 months.
- Is your baby getting enough milk? Your baby should seem content for 1-3 hours between feedings and have a least 6 wet diapers a day with very pale or clear pee. They should also not lose more than 7% of their birth weight in the first few days after delivery.
- What is the best position for breastfeeding? There are several different positions for breastfeeding, and you will have to figure out which works best and is most comfortable for you and your baby.
- Remember the ABC’s of breastfeeding. Awareness of your baby’s hunger signs. Be patient with the length your baby wants to nurse each time. Comfort is key as relaxing during breastfeeding helps you milk to flow.
At Silver Cross Hospital, we have several certified lactation consultants available for support to new moms who choose to breastfeed their babies. They offer education and support before and after delivery as well as when you return home. We even offer an Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic, where you can privately meet with a Board Certified Lactation Consultant to discuss your breastfeeding concerns! If you want to start with a Breastfeeding Class, we offer those to our community monthly as well!
Whatever your decision is, Silver Cross supports you and we have many tools in place to ease you into parenthood!