Breastfeeding is the healthiest, most tailor-made nutrition for babies. It’s incredibly important to maternal health, to the environment, and to Baby’s oral development. Studies even show that breastfeeding helps the mental health of Baby and Mom. The benefits are endless. Many expectant mothers intend to breastfeed their babies, only to discover that it isn’t as simple and innate as they’d hoped. Here are 3 tips for getting your breastfeeding journey off to the right start.
You can do this!
Tip #1: Get Educated
It’s imperative that you educate yourself on why it is important to breastfeed your baby and you can start by looking at the sources of the information you find. Is the author an expert on the topic, like an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant? Another professional that is known for breastfeeding, or is it a mommy blogger or paid writer? Is the information provided opinion-based or research-based? Always look at the source!
Tip #2: Get Lactation Support Prenatally
Taking a breastfeeding class prenatally is a very important component in a smooth breastfeeding journey. Alternatively, you can get direct observation by going to a La Leche League, or breastfeeding support groups while you’re still pregnant. Waiting until you have issues with breastfeeding to find a lactation professional can probably be both stressful and difficult. Finding and meeting with them prenatally is not only easier, but it sets you up for success instead of having to rectify avoidable obstacles later on. International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) are the gold standard because they’re the most knowledgeable lactation experts.
Tip #3: Get Started ASAP
Finally, get that baby to breast immediately after birth. The sooner the baby gets skin-to-skin after delivery (no matter the mode of delivery) the better outcome we see for breastfeeding success. Did you know that you can have your baby’s vitals and assessments done right on you? Therefore, skin-to-skin and the first latch do not need to be delayed or interrupted. Most of all, keep your baby skin-to-skin AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE after birth. This helps them transition into life outside the womb and helps breastfeeding. In addition, skin-to-skin also helps regulate all their vital signs, and it can help get the baby started with tummy time. In conclusion, the more your baby breastfeeds in those early days, the more milk your body will produce.
By Autumn Wake, RN, BSN, IBCLC and Laura Cooper, BA, CLEC of Advanced Breastfeeding Support of Las Vegas
Advanced Breastfeeding Support of Las Vegas