What Do Moms Need To Know To Get Breastfeeding Off To a Great Start?

There are many things moms can do to prepare for breastfeeding. While we never know exactly how the birth and other events in the early days are going to go, here are some things moms can do that will generally help get breastfeeding going smoothly. (My next post will be about how partners can help get breastfeeding off to a great start!)

  • Attend a La Leche League Meeting or other breastfeeding support group before your baby is born.
  • Breastfeed during the first hour after the baby’s birth.
  • Breastfeed at least 10-12 times every 24 hours - more is better!
  • Spend lots of time skin to skin with your baby.
  • For the first few days, hand express for a few minutes after each feeding and spoon feed this colostrum/milk to your baby. (This will help your milk transition from colostrum to mature milk earlier, helps ensure a great supply, and gives your baby extra nutrition.)
  • Look for early feeding cues and begin breastfeeding before your baby is frantic.
  • Breastfeeding can feel new, awkward, weird and tender, but it should not hurt and your nipples should not appear pinched or damaged after breastfeeding. Get help with latching if it hurts at all!
  • Take it easy and focus on your baby and yourself for the first few weeks - You'll be out and about soon.
  • The early days with a new baby are exhausting for most families. Work with your partner and other family members to find ways for everyone to get enough rest.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about how breastfeeding is going, get help early!