I asked on here a while back about things that all breastfeeding moms should know and I got a TON of great advice for a friend of mine and I have kept this list on hand so here it is....
Breastfeeding is always best if it comes from the source. However, if a nursing couple requires using a breastpump and bottles, either regularly or on rare occasions, it is best to use caution and be sure to be informed about the potential negative impacts. Some things to bear in mind when introducing a bottle:
- wait until at least 4-5 weeks of age to try introducing a bottle
- purchase "slow flow" bottle nipples and use only those
- have another family member provide the bottle so baby knows that mom only breastfeeds and the bottle is not a substitute for mom
- have a nursing chair for breastfeeeding and tell family members to never feed baby a bottle in the nursing chair
- be sure to pump at regular intervals that the baby would normally be nursing, if a bottle is being given for that feeding
Roughly 2% of the WORLD'S population of women are physically ( meaning they seriously lack glandular tissue, have a terminal illness tthat prevents them from nursing, underwent a double mast. ) unable to produce breastmilk. Way too many women say "I didnt have any milk". It just isn't true. Women in our society are told so many lies about breastfeeding, and "You dont make milk" is the worst and most common offender.
breastfeeding has health benefits for mom too, lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis
Also, it is okay for your baby to get just colostrum while you are waiting for your milk to come in! Supplementing with formula is unnecessary and will do more harm than good.
IT GETS EASIER. Breastfeeding is not always the magical, natural, easy, blissful experience that sometimes it is made out to be. It can hurt (and there are things you can do to help it). It can be frustrating. It can be hard and make you crazy, especially during those first 6 - 8 weeks.
it is NORMAL for a newborn to seem like he or she is nursing ALL THE TIME. Very frequent nursing in the beginning is the baby's way of getting your milk supply established, and as long as there are good amounts of poopy and wet diapers, and baby is happy, let him/her nurse! Many moms feel they don't have enough milk, but don't realize that when this is happening, the baby is making their body make more.
Sometimes it DOES hurt even if you do everything right.
Other sucking (bottles, pacifiers, sippy cups) can be a problem.
It's a great tool for parenting toddlers!
Women with inverted nipples can successfully breastfeed, but it can take some work.
A baby can get enough milk even if mom only has one breast.
The milk let down(ejection relex) for some mom's can be extremely uncomfortable. Especially in the first months but for some, like me, the whole first year + with my dd when I let down it hurt. A tingly pain that started at the nap of my neck and radiated down into my nipples. And some woman NEVER feel let down at all.
Breastfeeding not only helps mom's risk of cancer but it also helps lower the risk in the baby.
A very high percentage of Dr/healthcare workers know little to nothing about the nutrition of breast feeding. And end up giving horrible advice.
Not all woman have rock hard breasts when there milk comes in. With my dd I did have them but with my ds they never got close to being hard.
If you are not used to pumping and try it just to see if you are making enough or not, you will NOT be able to tell that way
Some people are more sensitive to pain than others and blaming it on the mom doesn't help her get through it.
Get a pediatrician who will support breastfeeding and understands that breastfed babies don't gain weight the same as formula fed babies.
Something my LC was telling me that I didn't know- for the first couple weeks feed on one side and then alternate to the other side at the next feeding so the baby gets the rich hindmilk which helps them gain weight.
If you have to supplement insist on using a syringe/dropper/sthingy etc to aovid nipple confusion. If you give a baby a bottle sometimes they won't want to work as hard to get milk from the breast
Watch for early hunger cues (opening/closing mouth, smacking/licking lips, sucking on hands, rooting, squirming) and feed before your baby starts crying (which is a late hunger cue) if you wait too long it makes latching on more difficult.
Breastfeed asap after birth, nurse on demand, not on a schedule, and concentrate on the number of feedings per day, not so much the hours in between feedings as many babies will cluster feed and then go a long stretch without nursing
If you deliver in the hospital watch the nurses like a hawk to make sure they don't give your baby sugar water or pacifiers. Even if you express your wishes, if your baby goes in the nursery they could completely disregard your request so go with the baby or have someone you trust to be assertive to go with the baby.
That when baby is about a week old, it's perfectly normal for your breasts to suddenly feel not as full. It doesn't mean your milk is going away.
You can nurse a preemie! It has it's own set of "rules" and an additional set of challenges but it is possible! Don't let anyone (including the NICU nurses) tell you otherwise