TOP 5 TIPS FOR BREASTFEEDING SUCCESS FROM DAY ONE
By Rebecca Agi, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and founder of Bestmilk LA
- If possible, breastfeed within the first hour of life. Your baby will be alert and interested in breastfeeding during the first hour after delivery. Research shows that early initiation of breastfeeding increases the overall success and duration of breastfeeding.
- Room-in with your baby. If possible, don't send your baby to the nursery. Keeping your baby close is really important so you can get to know your baby’s feeding cues and respond quickly every time the baby shows those signs. Early signs of hunger include: rooting, bringing hands to mouth, licking, and sucking on fingers.
- Don't stick to a strict feeding schedule. Instead, feed your baby on demand at least 8-12+ times per 24 hours. If your baby is really sleepy for feedings, be sure to wake him/her up by placing the baby skin-to-skin. Feeding often will help the baby gain weight and help establish your milk supply early on. You can't feed the baby too often, but you can feed your baby too little!
- Plan to limit your visitors. During the early days, you will be breastfeeding very often. Too many visitors can be overwhelming and interrupt feedings with your baby.
- Ask for help! Don’t be afraid to ask for help from one of the lactation consultants in the hospital. Even if you think breastfeed is going well, it's a good idea to have a lactation consultant assess position and latch. Proper latch is key to preventing nipple soreness and ensuring effective milk removal.
Rebecca Agi MS, IBCLC, is the founder of Best Milk LA, a concierge lactation practice based in Los Angeles, California. For more lactation tips you can follow Rebecca on Instagram @BestMilkLA or visit her website BestMilkLA.com.