Beginning Your Breastfeeding Journey
A phone call brings me to the home of a family with a 2-day-old infant, concerned that their baby isn’t getting enough breastmilk.
Dad opens the door, a deer in the headlights. Mom is crying on the couch.
As a lactation consultant who has worked with thousands of mothers and their babies, my most important advice is to offer your baby feeding cues and observe for readiness.
Here’s How You Start On Your Breastfeeding Journey
With you and your baby naked above the waist, express some milk from your nipples, spread it all around your areolae and the baby’s lips. Put him against your breasts and get into bed.
Ask your partner (who will be so happy to be able to support you) to bring you protein rich snacks, fruit or vegetable smoothies and a Mommy Knows Best lactation boosting product, like Lactation Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies or Lactation Support Fruit Drink, to increase your milk production.
You’ve Got it In You, Now Let’s Get it In Your Baby
Your baby will perceive your smell and body warmth as feeding cues and will respond with his own readiness cues. Several minutes before he begins to cry, he may wave his hands around searching for your breast, blink his eyes widely, open and close his mouth, make sucking noises or even smack his lips... this is his nonverbal “I’m hungry Mom.” Now offer your breast to your baby.
Stimulating your baby to eat by holding him skin to skin and offering your breast as often as he seems willing - with that all important deep latch onto breast tissue and not just the nipple - will enable him to settle into a pattern of rhythmic, continuous sucking and swallowing.
For more help, consider a home visit from a board-certified lactation consultant.