Congratulations! You’ve made a great decision to support your and your baby’s health with breastfeeding. You may be wondering, what’s the best way to get started or transition to breastfeeding? Follow these five tips:
- Skin-to-Skin in the first hours, days, and weeks after birth is a great way to bond with your baby. Hold, cuddle, and allow your baby—wearing just a diaper—lots of time on your bare chest. For babies, skin-to-skin regulates temperature and breathing, promotes gut health and immunity, and reduces crying. For parents, skin-to-skin increases milk supply, improves sleep, and reduces postpartum depression.
- Hunger Cues are how newborn babies communicate with body language to tell you they’re ready to eat. You may see your baby stirring, opening their mouth, smacking or puckering lips, or bringing fists to their mouth. This is the time to feed your baby. Don’t wait till your baby is crying to feed them; crying is a late sign of hunger.
- Getting a Good Latch ensures baby will get lots of milk and mom will be comfortable while breastfeeding. You can achieve a deep, comfortable latch by holding baby close and bringing baby to the breast with a wide-open mouth. Many parents are nervous to hold their baby so closely into their breast, but breastfeeding works best and babies breathe easily when their mouths are full.
- Growth Spurts typically happen on the second night after birth, at about 10 days old, and again around 4 weeks. It can seem like your baby wants to nurse all night long! Growth spurts usually last less than 24 hours, but can feel like a long time when you’re in one. Growth spurts are an opportunity for baby to tell your body to make more milk for their growing belly, body and brain.
- Reach Out for Help. Medical providers throughout the Children’s Primary Care Medical Group are specially trained in lactation to support you and your baby to thrive. We offer one-on-one and group lactation visits, in person and via telehealth. Ak your CPCMG pediatrician for a referral to get all your breastfeeding questions answered and the reassurance to meet your breastfeeding goals.