Starting Out Right
Breast Care While Breastfeeding
Mothers often wonder if any special care or preparation of the breast is required for breastfeeding. Here's what you need to know.
Breast Pads – Breastfeeding Essentials
Breast pads are an essential item for a newly breastfeeding mom. Available in both washable and disposable varieties, these little circles of padding collect the inevitable leakage of breast milk in the early days and weeks of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding 101 [offsite link]
An article by Cindy Curtis RN, IBCLC that addresses the questions "How do I get started?" and "What do I need?"
Breastfeeding After Formula
Mothers feeding or supplementing formula in the early weeks or mothers can often return to breastfeeding, even breastfeeding exclusively.
Breastfeeding and Afterbirth Pain
Many women who plan to breastfeed are unprepared for the afterbirth pain that accompanies nursing in the first few days after birth.
Breastfeeding and Hospital Visitors
The strategic management of hospital visitors after the birth of a new baby can be important to the successful establishment of breastfeeding. Tips and perspective on how to enjoy hospital visits without interfering with the breastfeeding relationship.
Breastfeeding and Scales
Breastfeeding support today often involves weighing babies to establish how many ounces of milk are taken in at a feeding. This is intended to give mothers confidence that their babies are receiving milk. What are some of the pros and cons of scales in measuring breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding Babies to Sleep
Many books and well-meaning family and friends tell breastfeeding mothers not to breastfeed their babies to sleep, for fear of creating a "bad habit." So are they right? Here's my thoughts on why it's perfectly natural and appropriate to breastfeed your baby to sleep.
Breastfeeding in the Hospital
Getting a great start to breastfeeding can avoid a lot of the common problems and concerns that many women face. The first 48 hours of nursing can be critical in sending signals to the brain to produce a good supply of milk.
Breastfeeding primer [offsite link]
66 Strategies to Get Breastfeeding Right, by Debbi Donovan, IBCLC. Includes information on making the decision to breastfeed, what you need to know the first weeks, and other topics that will help get your breastfeeding relationship off to a good start.
Breastfeeding Success Tips - In the Hospital
Some specific tips to prepare for breastfeeding success during the post-partum hospital stay.
Choices that can affect breastfeeding [offsite link]
This article by Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE discusses how different obstetric interventions can directly or indirectly influence the initiation and duration of breastfeeding.
Choosing a Nursing Position
A summary of the types of nursing positions and tips on when to choose a particular position and the basics of each.
Do I Need to Increase My Milk Supply?
Before worrying about *how* to increase milk supply, a common question among nursing mothers, take a moment to stop and determine whether actively increasing supply is really necessary.
Epidurals and Breastfeeding
Epidurals during labor can affect breastfeeding success in several ways. Basic information and links to an important study on the effect of epidurals on breastfeeding.
Epidurals and Breastfeeding – My Challenges
My experience with how an epidural in labor likely negatively affected our first days of breastfeeding leading to a weight crisis for my daughter and challenges that lasted several months.
Epidurals and Breastfeeding – My Labor Experience
My experience with an epidural in labor and how it likely impacted early breastfeeding success with my first daughter.
Formula Companies and Breastfeeding Support
Formula companies create breastfeeding guides, breastfeeding resource kits and even offer free breastfeeding hotlines. But those wanting to breastfeed would do well to beware of any sort of “breastfeeding support” from formula companies.
Frequent Nursing or Snack Nursing
Some women worry that their infants nurse too often. Discusses frequent nursing or "snack nursing" and why this may be a natural,healthy pattern for you and your baby.
Hospital Birth Routines and Breastfeeding Effects
Hospital routine and policy just after delivery can have an effect on the successful inititation of breastfeeding. Here are some potential pitfalls to plan for or try to avoid.
How Dads Can Support Breastfeeding
What's a Dad to do? Husbands can sometimes feel left out of the special relationship between a mom and a breastfed baby, but there are many things a Dad can do to support breastfeeding and create a unique bond with his baby at the same time.
Is Breastfeeding Natural?
Mothers often ask me, “Is breastfeeding really something you need to be taught… isn’t breastfeeding just something that happens… isn’t it just kind of natural? My response is always the same – actually, making milk is natural…breastfeeding is learned. Here's what you need to know.
Is Breastfeeding Pain Normal
Is breastfeeding pain the "new normal?" What should women realistically expect when starting to breastfeed and what can they do to eliminate or minimize pain within the current culture surrounding birth?
Is My Newborn Getting Enough?
Important ways to determine whether your newborn is getting enough milk and growing properly in those critical first days of breastfeeding. Four key points and links to further resources.
Newborn Feeding Cues - Licking and Looking
The "licking and looking" feeding cue is an overlooked signal newborns provide to signal they are ready to breastfeed.
Nursing in the Side-Lying Position
The side-lying position can help mothers get more sleep. Here's some tips and information on nursing lying down.
Pumping in the Hospital
Pumping in the hospital to protect milk supply is important for mothers unable to resolve latch challenges or in case of a separation from their newborn(s) in the first days after birth.
Scheduled Feedings and Breastfeeding
Scheduled feedings, such as described in Ezzo's "On Becoming Babywise," can cause significant health problems in some babies. Learn more about scheduled feedings and on-cue feedings. Includes links to AAP recommendations and alerts on this topic.
Should I Breastfeed if I am Returning to Work?
Mothers who are returning to work full-time sometimes wonder if it is worth it to breastfeed at all, or if it would be better for them and the baby to not even start. Here are some reasons why breastfeeding is important for whatever time you can, and some resources for help and advice.
Swaddling and Breastfeeding
Swaddling is an essential baby care technique that too many parents pass up due to inadequate information. Swaddling can enhance breastfeeding success and increase sleep for baby and family.
The Importance of Avoiding Formula
Find out why you should avoid feeding your baby formula.
Using the Cross-Cradle Nursing Position
The cross-cradle nursing position, also known as the cross-cradle nursing hold, cross-cradle latching hold or transition hold is a great "training position" for both mother and baby as they both learn to breastfeed in the first days and weeks.
What is Colostrum
Colostrum is the first breast milk a mother produces for her newborn baby. This "liquid gold" has many important functions for the mother and newborn.
What's Wrong with Baby Formula?
What's wrong with baby formula anyway? Sure, breastmilk is better, but why is baby formula a problem?
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