We support breastfeeding enthusiastically! Breast milk is the best nutrition for your baby, and the encounter between mother and baby at nursing time is emotionally satisfying to both. In our opinion, most newborns, if stable, can be placed directly on the breast after delivery and given no supplement. Breast milk usually comes in three to four days after an infant is born. Until that time, a mother has colostrum available which is rich in antibodies that fight infection. An infant will lose some weight in the hospital, but we will follow his or her weight and make sure it is a normal amount of weight loss. Once breast milk comes in, the weight should begin to increase.
These are suggestions we consider helpful:
Start by offering one breast each feeding, and alternate which breast is used. When an infant is older, he or she may want to nurse from both sides.
Let your baby nurse on one breast until he or she is satisfied and unlatches or falls asleep. If he or she is still nursing in 15-20 minutes, unlatch and see if he or she is satisfied. If not, offer the other breast for up to 15 minutes.
- Babies usually want to breastfeed every two to three hours.
- We feel babies should be fed on demand day and night during the first three months. Most babies start to sleep through the night between four and six months.
- During the first ten minutes, your baby is getting fore milk, which satisfies thirst. After ten minutes, while on the same breast, he or she is getting a fat- and protein-rich milk called hind milk that satisfies hunger. Breast milk typically appears thinner than cow’s milk.
- Drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritious meals, and rest while your baby is resting.
- Weight gain is the most precise measure of adequate nursing. We expect an infant to be back up to birth weight by two or three weeks of age.
- We do not recommend starting breastfed babies on solids or cereal until four to six months of age.
- For substitute feedings, we suggest pumped breast milk or a powdered formula. An electric pump works much better than a hand pump.
- We will discuss vitamin D supplementation at the two-week checkup. Babies that are mostly breastfed need a vitamin D supplement (D-Vi-Sol), which can be purchased in the diaper aisle of any grocery store.