Breastfeeding -- Starting Out Right

Bathing. There is no reason the baby needs to be bathed immediately after birth and bathing can be delayed for several hours. Immediately after birth, the baby can be dried off but it is not a good idea to wash or wipe off the creamy layer on the baby’s skin (vernix) that has been shown to protect his delicate skin. It is best to wait at least until the mother and baby have had a chance to get breastfeeding well started, with baby coming to the breast and latching easily. Furthermore, diapering a baby before a feed is not advised as it often causes the baby to become upset. Mothers are sometimes told diapering will help the baby to wake up. It is not necessary to wake the baby for feedings. If the baby is skin-to-skin with the mother, the baby will wake when ready and search for the breast. A baby who is feeding well will let the mother know when he is ready for the next feed. Feeding by the clock makes no sense.

Artificial Nipples

Artificial nipples should not be given to the baby. There seems to be some controversy about whether "nipple confusion" exists. Thus, in the first few days, when the mother is normally producing only a little milk (as nature intended), and the baby gets a bottle (as nature intended?) from which he gets rapid flow, the baby will tend to prefer the rapid flow method. Babies like fast flow. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out and the baby will very quickly. By the way, it is not the baby who is confused. Nipple confusion includes a range of problems, including the baby not taking the breast as well as he could and thus not getting milk well and/or the mother getting sore nipples. Just because a baby will "take both" does not mean that the bottle is not having a negative effect. Since there are now alternatives available if the baby needs to be supplemented (see the information sheets Lactation Aid, and Finger and Cup Feeding) why use an artificial nipple? Using a lactation aid, finger feeding or cup feeding to supplement when the baby does not need a supplement is only marginally better than using a bottle to supplement.

No restriction on length or frequency of breastfeedings. A baby who drinks well will not be on the breast for hours at a time (see the video clips of very young babies getting milk very well). Thus, if the baby is on the breast for very long periods of time, it is usually because he is not latching on well and not getting the milk that is available. Get help to fix the baby's latch, and use compression to get the baby more milk (See the information sheet Breast Compression). Compression works very well in the first few days to get the colostrum flowing well. This, not a pacifier, not a bottle, not taking the baby to the nursery or nurses' station, will help. Babies often feed frequently in the first few days of life -- this is normal and temporary. In fact, babies tend to feed frequently during the first few days especially in the evening or night-time. This is normal and helps to establish the milk supply and facilitate mother’s uterus returning to normal. Latching a baby well, using compressions, and maintaining skin to skin contact between mother and baby helps this transitional period to go smoothly.

Supplements of water, sugar water, or formula are rarely needed. Most supplements could be avoided by getting the baby to take the breast properly and thus get the milk that is available. If you are being told you need to supplement without someone having observed you breastfeeding, ask for someone to help who knows what they are doing.

Comments

All new mothers needs to read this!!!!........This is full of information.....
I know so many people that didnt bf because they felt after 2days that it wasnt working....SERIOUSLY???.....Yes I know some women cant do it, I know there are lots of underling factors to why they cant do it.....
But bf doesnt happening instantly for a lot of women, its hard work....It takes 2 weeks to get it sorted to a point that you feel its working well, BUT it take about 8 weeks to REALLY have it down packed.....Perserverance and good guidence is the key....My mum helped myself and my 2 sisters, couldnt have done it without her :) Well wouldve done it, but she was such a HUGE help......