The TMC for Women Lactation Consultants have helped thousands of women successfully breastfeed their babies. Here are some of their suggestions to help you and your baby create a successful breastfeeding relationship:
Before baby arrives
1. Take a Breastfeeding Basics Class
Before baby arrives, take a breastfeeding class. This is a great time to connect with lactation consultants, other expectant parents and get pointers before baby arrives.
2. Ask potential pediatricians about their office’s approach to breastfeeding.
As an expectant parent, when interviewing pediatricians, include some questions about breastfeeding to make sure you and your child’s pediatrician are on the same page. Knowing you and your child’s pediatrician have similar goals can be important in ensuring your child’s breastfeeding success. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides a great list of topics to include, for example “Do you observe breastfeeding in the office to identify any problems?” “How can you support me in breastfeeding when I return to work.”
3. Identify resources BEFORE baby arrives
-Is there a breastfeeding support group at your local hospital? (If you’re in Tucson we have a weekly free breastfeeding support group at TMC open to all new moms, hosted by a lactation consultant.)
-What about a La Leche League group?
-Where would you access a breast pump if you need one? Did you know The Desert Cradle hospital-based shop offers electric breast pump rentals and sales, nursing and newborn products?
Susan Dennis IBCLC recommended these books as resources also:
Nursing Mother’s Companion by Huggins
Breastfeeding Made Simple Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Mohrbacher and Kendall-Tackett
In the hospital and beyond
1. Enjoy the golden hour and more!
We know that the quiet ‘Golden Hour’ after baby arrives is a critical bonding time, but it isn’t just that hour following. Allow yourself, your baby and support person plenty of time after delivery to rest, and establish the nursing relationship without lots of spectators. Visitors are excited to meet the baby and to congratulate you, this is wonderful, but in the excitement and attention it can be difficult for new mothers to establish a comfortable nursing relationship with their child. Visitors can see you and the baby once you and baby are home and feeling a little more confident.
2. Skin to skin
You’ve probably seen the videos of newborn babies moving across their mother’s bodies to feed. Keep your baby skin/skin as much as possible and allow baby to feed at breast as much as he or she desires. Continue this at home.
3. Connect with the lactation consultants
While at the hospital or birth center. At TMC nursing assistance is available seven days a week.
4. Sleep when baby sleeps
It’s a familiar refrain – when baby sleeps you should sleep. The temptation is to try and get things done while baby naps, but try and get sleep during the day or when your baby is sleeping so you are ready when your baby is ready to feed more often (usually at night).
Remember if you’re having difficulty we offer one-on-one outpatient lactation consultations with our IBCLC Lactation Consultants.