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Successful Breastfeeding

Updated on May 11, 2009

Tips for Nursing Your Baby

You have read all the benefits of nursing, gotten the nursing pads, bras and the Madela Pump n Style. You are now ready to learn about the “how to” of nursing. What? You haven’t had your baby yet? Don’t worry, there’s no time like the present to learn about nursing! Once your baby arrives, there will be many other things to keep you busy, so advance planning and knowledge will make your nursing experience more successful.

Tips for Successful Nursing

1. Start early-Begin nursing within an hour of delivery (if possible). Be sure your baby is awake and the sucking instinct is strong. Although there won’t be any milk yet, there will be colostrum which contains disease fighting antibodies.

2. Nurse whenever your baby wants, as this encourages milk production; babies who are nursed eat more often as breast milk is digested more rapidly than formula. The more your baby eats the more milk you will produce. This is great when it comes to expressing!

3. Air dry-Allowing nipples to air dry after nursing will prevent cracking and infection. If this does occur, rub some of the milk on the cracked areas as this will help it to heal.

4. Anticipate engorgement. It is a normal part of nursing-especially in the first few weeks. The pain of engorgement can be alleviated by nursing often until your body adjusts to your baby’s needs. However, to relieve the pain of engorgement, you can use over the counter pain relievers, use a warm compress or take a warm bath.

5. Most importantly, take care of yourself! Eat healthy and rest often. Be sure to get at least 500 extra calories a day and 6-8 glasses of liquids.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Becoming a mom does not mean that you will be a nursing pro the second your baby arrives. Talk to a nurse, your doctor or contact your local chapter of the La Leche League to help you make this part of motherhood as easy as possible.

Nursing your baby is a special part of motherhood. With a little bit of preparation, practice and patience you can take pleasure in many bonding experiences. So, get ready to enjoy motherhood-there’s nothing quite like it!

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