Recipe for Breastfeeding Success

You may think this blog post will be about the latest recipe for Lactation Cookies or Breastfeeding Biscuits or the best-milk-inducing-smoothie-yet, but nope! There is limited scientific evidence that the ingredients in Breastfeeding Biscuits or Lactation cookies will boost a mother’s milk supply and it is worth noting that many lactation consultants are concerned that a mother, who suspects low milk supply, may choose to just try lactation cookies instead of seeing a lactation consultant for professional assistance. If you suspect a milk supply issue, see your Lactation Consultant, the original Lactation Cookie* ;-).

*(According to “Cookie is a very sweet and pretty person. She's fun to talk to, and she can always cheer you up and make you laugh. She's never mean and always there for you. She's such a Cookie.”)

So what are the ingredients for Breastfeeding Success?

A dash of planning

A big unit of latch from baby

A big helping of milk

A dollop of confidence

all in A bowl of support

Let us look at each individually

A dash of planning

Planning ahead can help make breastfeeding work well and contribute to breastfeeding success.

What does it entail? Start with

1. Making a commitment to breastfeed

2. During pregnancy talk to your employer, organized more flexible working hours and organized space & time to pump - working and breastfeeding requires at a minimum; time to remove milk from your breasts, a place to do this, and a way to do it

3. Take as much maternity leave as possible - maternity leave is NOT a vacation ~ for some women it’s a period of huge adaptation and hard work to take care of a new baby. You may consider taking unpaid leave to stay home longer with baby. (Sacrificing some income at this point in your life could turn out to be one of the best investments you will ever make.) Having the time to really get attached to baby and build your milk supply, will help you work hard at maintaining that close relationship after returning to work

4. Attend antenatal classes - educate yourself and your partner (and other main support) about breastfeeding basics:

- importance of breastfeeding,

- importance of skin-to-skin contact immediately following birth,

- importance of rooming-in,

- how to recognize when babies are ready to breastfeed,

- importance of feeding on demand (cue feeding),

- how to assure enough milk

- positioning & attachment of baby

So by the time baby is born, you will be more comfortable about breastfeeding and be confident about what you have to do

5. Write a birth plan - and hire a doula. It will help minimize intervention (and its effect on breastfeeding) during labour and delivery. Normal, natural birth sets the stage for problem-free breastfeeding—what nature intended—while a complicated, intervention-intensive labor and birth set the stage for problems, (that is why we have IBCLCs) get help! Good news is nature wants us to succeed. Lactation is not as fragile as many people think – otherwise the human race would never have survived!

6. If you are planning a hospital birth, have your baby at a Baby Friendly accredited Hospital. A Baby Friendly Hospital for baby’s birth will:

- Have baby placed in skin-to-skin contact immediately following birth for at least an hour and/or until baby has had his/her first breastfeed

- Ensure baby receive no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated

- Practice rooming-in and breastfeeding baby on demand / cue

- Not give breastfed baby any artificial teats or pacifiers as it may interfere with establishing breastfeeding and establishing the milk supply

7. Build a support network: IBCLCs, La Leche League, relatives and friends, because breastfeeding is not only a mother’s responsibility!

A big unit of latch from baby

Due to various reasons, sometimes a baby does not latch on immediately. Then you need to:

#1 feed the baby using methods like a cup or finger feeding which does not interfere with breastfeeding

#2 protect your supply (manual or electric expressing). When to express? If baby is unable to suckle – begin ASAP after birth within an hour, preferably by latest 6 hours. How long to express? Colostrum on teaspoon every hour or two if baby is unable to suckle. If expressing to increase milk supply aim for 10-20 minutes at least 7-8x/24 hours (aim 140 minutes/24hours)

#3 get baby back to breast (Protect the breastfeeding relationship)

A big helping of milk.

For a bountiful milk supply we need:

1. Sufficient glandular tissue + intact nerve pathways & ducts (anatomy)

2. Adequate hormones & hormone receptors (physiology)

3. Adequate frequent, effective milk removal & stimulation (mom & babe role-players: e.g. Mom= how long is the feed, how often does baby feed, how is baby brought to the breast. Babe=ability to remove milk effectively)

Apart from lots of pooh nappies and a content baby, weight gain is the “acid test” that things are going “well”. Weight a Newborn baby within 2 days of discharge then 1x/week until 6 weeks. From 6 weeks – 3 months weigh every 2nd week and from 3 months weigh monthly.

Breastfeeding Clinic

A dollop of confidence

Confidence is a belief in your ability to succeed, it is saying says, “I can do this”, it gives you the skills and coping methods to handle setbacks. Confidence will come with knowledge, support and experience ;-).

A bowl of support

Breastfeeding is a team effort. Although breastfeeding is the mother’s domain, with close support from fathers, partners, families, workplaces and communities, breastfeeding can succeed!

Now you have all the ingredient for Breastfeeding Success! ENJOY!

#Breastfeeding #Success #Recipe #Support

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