Being a young mom means we met a little early, but I get to love them longer.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Helpful tips: Breastfeeding

My first post is simply going to be helpful tips for beginning breastfeeding.

This applies to moms who are planning to give birth in a hospital. If you plan on breastfeeding, make sure your staff (nurses and doctors assigned to you) know that you are. Make it clear that you do not want the baby to be given any formula. If you make this clear before baby has arrived, it will be easier to stand you ground if need be after baby is born.

Once the baby is born, try to breastfeed as soon as possible. This will signal your body that it is time to make actual milk.
Up until this point, all you body will make is colostrum. This alone is important to your baby. It acts as a laxative to help them pass their first bowel movements, and it also has essential antibodies and proteins present in it that are very beneficial to your baby. It cannot harm your baby in any way, and it will provide the nutrition baby needs until the actual milk comes in, which typically takes 3 to 4 days after birth.

This is where hospital staff love to try and claim you aren't making enough milk. If, for any reason, someone suggests formula, immediately ask to speak to a lactation consultant. Most hospitals have them on hand. In fact, it's a good idea to talk to the consultant even if it doesn't appear that you are having issues. She may be able to give you tips you never even thought of.

Pacifiers can create nipple confusion. If you are having trouble getting baby to latch properly, kick the paci. It may seem that baby is using you as a pacifier in return, but this is a good thing.The baby is stimulating your body to produce the actual milk. Once it comes in, baby will typically not be on the breast as long or as frequent because the milk will keep baby full longer.

Bottles also create nipple confusion. If you are planning on pumping milk, try to hold off for a bit on introducing the bottle. If baby does not create a good latch with your breast in the beginning, it can cause a lot of issues in your breastfeeding future (I know this from experience with Grace).

Sometimes babies just have bad latches no matter what you do (Grace did). If you feel something is wrong, push the issue. You know your body better than anyone else. Do not let someone tell you that you are wrong. Express any concerns about latch before you leave the hospital. Ask the lactation consult how to insure a healthy latch. If you leave the hospital without this information, it will be much harder to obtain once you're home.

A main thing is to have someone to back you up, whether that be your boyfriend, husband, mom, dad, best friend, etc. Explain to that person how important succeeding at breastfeeding is to you. Get that person to the same level that you are so that he or she is just as passionate. And also, make sure that person has you best interests in mind (no hidden agendas). Let's face is, us moms are not always all there in the hospital.We've spent hours in labor, been through the worst pain in our lives, are trying to adjust to sleepless nights, our hormones are going haywire, etc. You are going to need someone there with a level head to help you keep your goals in focus.
This will help prevent the hospital staff from railroading you into giving your baby formula.

Once baby has had formula, it's usually downhill from there. Your body will only produce as much milk as the baby needs, so if baby is skipping feedings with you to have a bottle of formula, your body will begin to produce less and less milk. Regaining milk supply is not an easy thing.

It is actually very rare that a woman's body will not produce enough milk for the baby no matter what the circumstances. Typically the milk supply is being hindered by things like latching issues or supplementing with formula. If these things are corrected quickly, then the milk supply can rebound, but they have to be caught very quickly.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with breastfeeding. I will hit on many more issues and topics in future posts.

*Most of this is just from my personal experiences
There is one reference.


  1. Hey girl,
    Good info. I am hoping to get Jessie on my level this time. Last time he was just like, "Whatever you want to do..."
    Also, if I plan to go back to the Women's Center after and if we have a baby, I can't take him or her with me since I will be doing the post abortive class...So I will have to use a bottle one day a week for a few hours...You think that'll be alright?

  2. The hospital made me give emerson formula because she lost more than 10% of her birth weight, and they said it was the law. Do you know if this is true? Once we gave her formula, I never had enough supply for her. They made me give her it on monday at like 2 am. My milk didn't come in until tuesday about 9 am. I know now the formula is why I never made enough to satisfy her.

  3. I'm going to kind of steal your idea... Only I'm going to post about my personal experience with trying to breastfeed in the hospital and everything. I plan on breastfeeding my next child, whenever that is, and I'm going to bookmark this!! Thanks for all the information!!

  4. I want to try it sooo bad but am so afraid of the whole drugs thing.....I only have 6 more weeks to decide.

  5. Brittany, will you be going back immediately, or will you be taking a couple of weeks off? Obviously you have to do what you have to do. It doesn't effect some babies, but in general, it with creating latching issues. It is best to establish a good latch to the breast first. It takes at least two weeks. Some people say to wait four weeks, but I think two weeks would be okay.

    Nicole, I am not sure if it is a law or not. I will have to research that. It may not be a law, but it could very well be a hospital rule due to them not wanting to be held responsible for anything. I would guess that it is likely outdated though if it is though. If the baby is alert (as alert as a newborn baby should be... meaning like, not lethargic), has good color, and is expressing urine and bowel movements, then the baby is getting enough to eat. However, it is somewhat hard to measure the baby's urine output within the first 24 hours. Honestly though, I'm not sure that they can legally force you to do anything to your baby. The most they can probably do is have you sign some sort of consent form claiming they will not be held responsible should anything happen to baby. It would be an "against medical advice" type of thing.

    Megan, no problem :) I'm going to continue to do post relating to breastfeeding, so feel free to bookmark any of them :)

    Jessika, that is definitely one thing that makes it difficult. I don't really have any experience with trying to breastfeed after a c-section. Or the effects the medicine have. I do know that 10% of whatever goes into your body will pass to the baby through breastmilk. I have also seen pictures of women breastfeeding while still on the operating table. I have no idea if those women researched the effects. Have you tried raising the question in the breastfeeding forum on cafemom? It's very active and helpful. The are surely some women on there who have had first hand experience with it, and they might could help you decided what is best for you.

  6. MM. Then I guess I will wait 2 or 3 weeks. I was wanting to go back the next week if I could. I don't doo much. I sit a lot. lol So it wouldn't be too hard, but I guess I could do busy work once I get back and just bring the baby. Idk. Guess I will get there when I get there.

  7. I don't know if once a week would hurt anything, I've just always heard to wait at least two weeks. I went back to work after two weeks, but I took Brentley with me. I do know that I waited too long to try to introduce the bottle. He never would happily take one like Grace did. We introduced one to Grace at around four weeks old, and she did really well with it.
    Just definitely don't supplement with formula if you do give the baby a bottle early on.

  8. Nope. We won't be able to afford supplemental formula. Lol So I Can't give up this time. Lol