Initiating Breastfeeding after BirthBreastfeed your baby as soon as possible following delivery. Skin-to-skin contact and frequent feedings will help get your new baby settled into the world. Many studies show the benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby. Breastfeeding will help you lose weight and bond with your baby and help your baby by providing a good mix of nutrients and antibodies to protect against diseases.
Tips for Breastfeeding Success
Here are a few things to remember when breastfeeding your new baby:
- Baby’s Tummy is Tiny — The stomach of a full-term baby is only the size of a cherry on day one and a walnut by day four.
- Just What Baby Needs — The first milk your body produces is called colostrum, which comes in small concentrated amounts and provides the perfect mix of proteins, carbohydrates and antibodies. It might not seem like much, but it’s all your baby needs.
- Feed Early and Often — A baby has a natural instinct to breastfeed; letting them breastfeed will calm them and train your body to make as much milk as the baby needs.
- Weight Loss is Normal — Your baby will have some weight loss after delivery, which is normal. Your baby should be back to birth weight by two weeks of age.
How to Know When a Baby Is Hungry
Babies let their mothers know when they are ready to eat. Watch for these signs of hunger:
- Smacking or licking lips
- Moving, squirming or stretching
- Bringing hands to the face or sucking on fists
- Opening and closing the mouth
- Turning the head from side to side
Renting a Hospital-Grade Breast Pump
Choosing the right pump can make all the difference in breastfeeding success. Several Texas Health locations have hospital-grade breast pumps that can be rented. Hospital-grade pumps are typically more powerful than standard pumps and are often better able to extract milk from a mother with greater efficiency and/or speed. Learn more about renting/buying a pump from these hospitals:
Breastfeeding Support Appointments
If you have issues with breastfeeding, you can make an appointment with a certified lactation consultant on an outpatient basis. She can assist with ongoing questions throughout the breastfeeding experience, including:
- Milk supply concerns
- Preventing and managing mastitis, breast abscess or sore nipples
- Drugs and medications while breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding multiples
- Latching or nursing difficulties
- Preventing and managing engorgement
- Mom’s health, including the "baby blues," fatigue and slow weight loss
Click the below links to find support near you:
Breastfeeding Support Groups
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