Tips for Breastfeeding Success

There are several things you can do to make breastfeeding easier. They include nursing when your baby shows readiness, avoiding the use of artificial nipples, getting as much rest as possible and eating well.

Nurse When Your Baby Shows Readiness
If mothers and babies have unlimited access to each other, healthy newborns will request feedings approximately eight to 12 times in 24 hours. Frequent, prolonged feedings ensure that the mother's milk supply will increase to meet the demands of her hungry infant.

So don't try to force your baby into a feeding schedule, and don't limit the amount of time she spends at the breast. If you restrict feedings to five minutes per side, as some recommend, the inexperienced newborn will probably get only the foremilk and will barely trigger the first letdown reflex. If so, the infant will not get adequate fluids or calories and may develop weight loss, dehydration or jaundice. You, in turn, can have problems with engorgement and delay in the establishment of an adequate milk supply.

Avoid Using Artificial Nipples
Until your milk supply is well established and a good sucking pattern is consistently present, avoid giving your baby a bottle or pacifier. Waiting at least three to four weeks is a good basic rule, although you may get resistance from healthcare professionals who encourage supplemental water or formula.

Get As Much Rest As Possible
You want to support your body's efforts to make milk. So avoid doing housework, exercising vigorously, entertaining or working outside the home in the first weeks. Pace yourself so you won't get too exhausted. A daily nap (besides whatever sleep you can get at night) is a good habit to cultivate.

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