Breastfeeding: The Best Start for Your Baby
Here at EIRMC, our goal is to support moms and babies in achieving their breastfeeding goals. We are proud to be a 2015 recipient of the Care Award from the International Lactation Consultant Association. If you have any questions about breastfeeding, please contact our Board Certified Lactation Consultants at (208) 529-7171. We look forward to helping you reach your goals and will gladly answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Research has shown the extensive health benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for both mom and baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for baby's first year and beyond, and the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for two years and beyond.
Tips to make breastfeeding successful for you and your little one:
- Perform skin-to-skin care with your baby immediately after delivery and throughout the first week of life. Lots of baby holding helps babies succeed with breastfeeding.
- Feed your baby on-demand and unscheduled, about every two to three hours.
- Room-in with your baby during your hospital stay. We encourage continuous, uninterrupted bonding time with your baby. The more time you spend in close contact with your baby, the faster your baby will learn to breastfeed.
- Avoid bottles. Healthy newborns do not need supplementation. Offering formula can cause difficulties with milk production and breastfeeding.
- Avoid pacifiers in the early days. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting to use pacifiers until breastfeeding is well established (approximately 3 weeks). Before then, pacifiers can mask hunger cues, delaying feeding and possibly reducing your milk supply.
- Watch for early signs of hunger and offer the breast when you see these feeding cues: Mouth motions such as lip licking, opening the mouth widely, or sucking on hands. A calm, quiet and alert baby is a baby in an optimal state for learning to breastfeed.
- Rub your nipple along baby's lips until their mouth opens. Bring your baby to your breast. The key to a good latch is getting the nipple and part of the surrounding areola in baby’s wide open mouth.
- Massage your breast lightly, stroke your baby's cheek, or gently rub the baby's head, back and feet intermittently to keep the baby awake and sucking while nursing.
- Breastfeeding should not be painful. With a proper latch, the baby should have lips that are flanged outward and full cheeks. If you are having pain with the baby's latch, break the suction with a light finger in the corner the baby's mouth and allow the baby to reattempt the latch.
- A good feeding lasts between 10-30 minutes total time. Depending on breast storage capacity, and rate of milk production, baby may eat from one or both breasts each feeding. Your baby will need to feed 8-10 times a day.
More sucking = more milk made. The more time your baby spends nursing, the more milk your body will make. Your body knows the perfect amount of milk your baby needs based on how often the baby eats. If you are away from your baby during a feeding, you will need to remove milk from your breasts with a breast pump or hand expression to replace the feeding and maintain your supply.