Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success

Do get your baby on the breast within the “golden hour”, the first hour after birth. Speak with your OB or Midwife about putting this in your birth plan. Even with a C-section, this is still realistic.

Do room in with your baby in the hospital and at home. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends co-sleeping (but not bed-sharing) with your baby until at least 6 months, and most hospital nurseries are moving towards rooming-in as standard practice.

Don’t offer a pacifier until breastfeeding is firmly established (about 6 weeks). Pacifiers aren’t necessary, but can reduce SIDS risk in babies up to 6 months old. If introduced too early, they can interfere with baby’s ability to communicate early signals of hunger and cause nipple confusion. Lactation specialists and the AAP recommend waiting until about 6 weeks to consider introduction of a pacifier.

Do feed on demand; don’t skip middle of the night feeds to get a break. Skipping feeds sends a signal to your body that it made too much milk and will ultimately decrease your milk supply, and when you wake up engorged, it can be difficult for baby to effectively latch.

Don’t ignore pain that lasts for an entire feeding session. Some discomfort for the first 30-60 seconds of a feed is normal in the first few weeks. Pain that lasts throughout a feed, cracked or bleeding nipples indicate a latch problem.

Do take care of yourself: sleep when the baby sleeps, eat enough food, and drink lots of water. Making milk burns 500 calories a day!

Download the free Lactmed app on your phone to check for interactions with prescribed and OTC medications that may affect breastmilk production and to see if medication crosses into milk. Some doctors will tell you to stop breastfeeding if you are on any medication “just in case” it crosses into breastmilk. With this free app and searchable website from the National Institute of Health, you can prevent unnecessarily disrupting the breastfeeding relationship.

Get a good pump; it’s covered by your insurance thanks to ACA. Breastfeeding supplies are also tax-deductible.

Know your rights in public and the workplace. In Texas, you have the legal right to breastfeed ANYWHERE you are legally allowed to be.

Ask for help if you need it! Turn to a certified lactation consultant or contact La Leche League for assistance over the phone or in person. 

Helpful links:

How to get your tax deduction for breastfeeding supplies

How to get your pump covered by your insurance company

Listing of state laws regarding breastfeeding in public and the workplace

LLL Austin

We hope you found our Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success helpful!

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