Breast Feeding Breast Feeding
 

If you plan to breast feed your infant, the following instructions may be of some help to you. You will have very little milk supply until the baby is three or four days old. Frequent, short feedings are better than infrequent lengthy feedings. Slowly increase the amount of time until you reach a maximum of twenty minutes on each breast.

You should be in a comfortable position, such as in a moderately low armchair with your back and arms supported. A nursing pillow provides very good support. Your baby should be in a semi-upright position so his head is higher than his stomach. With one arm, hold the baby so his face is close to the breast. With the other hand, hold the breast between your index and middle fingers so it is easy for the baby to reach the nipple without it covering his nose. Bend your arm to form a cradle so the baby's head is always supported making it easy for him to reach the breast. Touch the side of his face close to his mouth to the breast. He will turn his head and begin nursing.

Once your milk is well established be sure the first breast is completely emptied before changing sides (approximately fifteen minutes). At the next feeding, start with the breast that was not completely emptied at the previous feeding. You are working on a supply and demand system.

A completely emptied breast is stimulated to increase production for the next feed. During some feedings, the baby may get slightly less than she would like to have. Your breast milk production will quickly increase to supply her needs. After feeding, let your nipples air dry. If they are tender or cracked, apply lanolin cream. It is not necessary to clean off the cream before feeding again.

After the second week you may give your baby one bottle of formula or breast milk each day if you so desire. If you wait too long to introduce the bottle, (over a month), babies are often very resistant. Evening, when dad is available, is a good time to try this â€" an excellent bonding opportunity! For the supplemental bottle, you may use powdered or premixed formula, or pumped breast milk.

For successful breast feeding, it is essential to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and eat a balanced diet. Any food, including chocolate, may be eaten in moderation. You should continue your prenatal vitamins while you are breast feeding your baby. You may call our office with any and all of your breast feeding questions.

Burping

All babies swallow air during the feeding and should be burped once or twice during each feeding and again when the feeding is completed. To burp him, hold him upright over your shoulder and pat or rub his back very gently until he lets go of the air. If the burp doesn't come up early, it sometimes helps to put him on his back for a few seconds and then bring him up to your shoulder. You can also try placing him in an upright sitting position, using your hands to support his chest, neck and head. Some babies do not burp well. If after five minutes your baby does not burp, he should be placed in the crib on his right side.