As more scientific research is released regarding the positive benefits of breastfeeding, hospitals and doctors are increasingly encouraging new mothers to breastfeed, and providing the tangible support that can help them do that successfully right from the start.
Here’s what you can expect…
After the birth of your baby or babies you may have several visits from a lactation counselor (LC) and may find that your nurses are also well equipped to get you off on the right foot. While it will take a couple of days for your milk to come in, most hospitals, if they know you are planning to breastfeed, will help you get Baby to breast and will set you up with a pump in your room. Some LCs will also encourage skin-to-skin contact, which promotes healthy bonding with your baby as well as a healthy milk supply.
Colostrom, also known as “liquid gold” is the nutrient rich “milk before the milk” and you want to make sure your baby gets as much of it as possible. If you are not rooming with your baby because she’s in a special care nursery or NICU, your nurse or LC may provide you with colostrum catchers like a small syringe. Plastic spoon also works. This will allow you to bring your milk to your little one. Even a few drops on the lips or on the inside of the cheek can be a benefit to a new baby.
New mom lactation support will also come in the form of measures to help you increase and maintain supply. The first step is to get Baby to breast early and often. Pumping with a hospital grade pump is also recommended. The body is wired to supply in order to meet demand so by feeding and pumping frequently, you are conditioning your body to produce the milk that your baby or babies will need.
If supply is an issue, more feeding and pumping is the first step. Beyond that, your LC or nurse may provide you with a lactation tea or supplement. You’ll also want to practice good self-care. While supplements can be helpful, they are not a substitute for proper sleep, diet and hydration. Reach out to family and friends for healthy meals, sleep whenever you can and keep drinking the water!
Lactation support also ends up being emotional support. Breastfeeding, though “natural” is not easy. It takes a lot of time and effort and at times even the most dedicated moms can’t carry out the nursing plans they’d designed prior to the birth of their babies. The postpartum period is hormonal and emotional. Don’t be surprised if your LC is there just to cheerlead your efforts or offer a hug.
At Welcome Baby Care, it’s our mission to help new moms breastfeed successfully if this is what they have decided to do. Our Lactation Support Team provides in-home visits as well as phone consultations to help you breastfeed successfully and troubleshoot any issues you may be having. Have a question? Give our experts a call today.