There are many benefits to breastfeeding, including fewer colds, allergies and ear infections for your baby.
Breastfeeding also offers an optimal mix of nutrition and antibodies.
Here are a few simple steps you can follow to help make your breastfeeding experience successful:
- Keep your baby in your hospital room and sleep near your baby at home. This makes it easier to learn your baby's feeding cues and you will be able to get more rest.
- Feed your baby frequently and avoid using formula unless your doctor recommends it.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends your baby have a diet of purely breast milk for the first six months of life.
The use of formula may make your baby too full to nurse frequently and may contribute to allergies.
Pacifiers and bottles are not recommended for the first four weeks.
Your baby is learning to nurse during this time and pacifiers and bottles may decrease your milk supply and cause your breasts to become engorged.
- Breastfeed early and as often as your baby demonstrates hunger cues, such as hands to mouth, lip smacking, tongue thrusting and rapid eye movement.
The more often your baby nurses, the more milk you will make.
- Hold your baby with his/her skin against your skin.
Known to medical professionals as "skin-to-skin," this technique has many benefits, such as improved bonding between the mother and baby and improved weight gain.
It even stabilizes your baby's heart rate, breathing rate and temperature.
- Don't wait to ask for help. Our lactation consultants and nurses are here for you before you deliver your baby, when you are in the hospital and when you get home.
Call them at (207) 626-1426 in Augusta or (207) 872-1625 in Waterville.
If you would like to learn more about breastfeeding, please consider attending one of our breastfeeding classes or support groups.
Call 1-855-4MGHINFO (1-855-464-4463) to find a date that works best for you, or visit our Community Calendar.