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8 steps to successful breastfeeding.

8 steps to successful breastfeeding.

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  • kimh kimh's Avatar 09-10-04 | 01:28 AM
  • I got this in an e-mail today, so I thought that I would share it with you ladies.

    By Jody Wright

    Succeeding at nursing is not only important for our babies, it's more important for us, too. We feel good when we have been offered a challenge and succeed at it. Here are some ideas drawn from my own experience of nursing four babies and counseling others as a La Leche League leader.

    #1. Learn as much as you can before your baby arrives.
    Talking to knowledgeable people and educating yourself are some of the most important things you can do to help ensure success at breastfeeding. Choose a few good books on breastfeeding and read them while you are pregnant. Don't just borrow favorites; have them nearby for easy reference later when you have a concern.

    #2. Attend a support group.
    Women used to learn breastfeeding by watching the mothers around them. Perhaps they also remembered what nursing was like when they were toddlers themselves. They watched their siblings, cousins, and neighbors nurse. Modern parenting is often more isolating. Give yourself a chance to see experienced mothers nurse, get answers to your questions, and establish links for support if you need it. Expectant mothers who attend La Leche League meetings or other support groups are much more likely to breastfeed their babies easily and for as long as they choose.

    #3. Have a prepared birth with as little interference as possible.
    When you educate yourself about birth, make a clear birth plan, and choose attendants carefully, you are more likely to have a natural birth or one with few unexpected interventions. This will allow both you and your baby to be alert and healthy and will give you both a good start with breastfeeding.

    #4. Breastfeed as soon as possible after birth.
    Studies have shown that babies seem to have a natural interest in nursing soon after birth. Babies able to nurse at this time seem to catch on better. Continue to nurse often in the first few days, even if your baby doesn't appear to be getting much. Nursing early and often will decrease the amount of engorgement you experience, allow your baby to learn to nurse well before lots of milk comes in, and give your baby the colostrum that is filled with the immunity factors, nutrients, and natural laxatives your baby needs at this time.

    #5. Keep your baby with you.
    Nursing isn't just a way to feed but a way to parent. Keeping your baby with you in the hospital will improve communications between you. Spending the first few weeks after birth together will help you recover from the birthing process and will help unite you both in a way you may never have imagined.

    #6. Listen to your baby and feed her when she tells you it is time.
    As your baby gets older, try to arrange your life so it is easy to stay together. Set priorities. Hold off our culture's pressures to return to a job and separate from your baby. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for both of you. Do your best to utilize it.

    #7. Avoid pacifiers and bottles.
    Don't confuse your baby. Learning to nurse is challenging. Other ways of sucking make it hard for babies to master nursing. Pacifiers and bottles added an extra two months to the time it took one of my babies to become skilled at nursing. Even under ideal circumstances, it isn't unusual for it to take several months for a baby to become a nursing expert. Adding pacifiers or bottles makes it more difficult.

    #8. Cultivate friendships and support from other nursing mothers.
    Having friends and acquaintances who nurse will give you support if you run into problems. You'll have more viewpoints to draw from if someone says you should be weaning your baby. You'll have access to others' experiences with doctors, and you'll know you aren't alone when parenting gets rough. Your La Leche League or support group, along with your childbirth preparation class, are good places to meet people.

    If you have problems, get help. Check your hospital, midwife, HMO or pediatrician for a referral, or call your La Leche League leader for advice and a listening ear. It is easy in the stressful months after birth to give up when nursing doesn't go as you planned. It may take a little more work, be a little harder, or not be exactly what you expected. Your own determination to find an answer and to try something new becomes the major factor if things aren't going right with nursing.

    Stick to it, find the help you need, be determined, and you'll probably be able to solve the problem.

    Last edited by Sheeeva; 07-09-05 at 08:57 AM..
  • praying4ababy praying4ababy's Avatar 09-10-04 | 06:39 AM

    great tips! thanks for sharing.
  • Sheeeva Sheeeva's Avatar 09-18-04 | 03:04 AM
  • Great advice, I've stickied it so that other new moms will find it easily! Thanks for sharing!

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