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The “dos” and “don’ts” of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is best for both mother and baby. Whether you are a veteran mom or expecting your first child, prepare yourself by reading our list of basic nursing rules. Do:
  • Nurse your infant as soon as you can after he is born.  This will satisfy your baby’s nutritional needs, help to establish an immediate bond and help your milk to “come in.”
  • Ask a lactation consultant for help while still in the hospital. She will help you and your baby to start developing a good nursing relationship by teaching you the signs of a good latch, helping you try out different nursing positions and explaining to you what’s normal and what’s not.
  • Nurse on demand. Watch your infant for hunger cues, such as rooting and lip smacking and feed her when she’s hungry. This will help her develop a sense of trust and help you maintain adequate milk supply (Hartshorn, 2012).
  • Drink extra fluids. Fluids are essential to producing enough milk, as well as satisfying mother’s hydration needs (Sears, Sears, Sears, & Sears, 2003).
  • Continue to take your prenatal vitamins or start using quality multiple vitamins, as well as Omega 3 supplements (always consult your physician before taking any medications or supplements).
  • Watch what you eat and how it affects your baby. Some foods may bother your baby and cause excessive gas. Track down the offenders and eliminate them from your diet while you are nursing (Sears, Sears, Sears, & Sears, 2003).
  • Offer a variety of foods to your nursing baby when he starts eating solids. He will be happy and healthy if he gets nutrition from breast milk as well as vitamin and mineral rich fruits, vegetables, grains and meats (Noblet, 2012)
Don’t:
  • Give your baby water. Breastfed infants get plenty of water from their mother’s milk and supplemental water may prevent them from breastfeeding as much as they should, as well as cause nipple confusion (Does Baby Need Extra Water, 2011).
  • Smoke, drink or do illegal drugs.
  • Take any prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs without consulting your doctor.
  • Yell or react harshly if your baby bites or pinches your breast. This can truly traumatize her.  Instead, draw your baby as close to your breast as you can – she will open her mouth to breathe better and release your breast (Sears, Sears, Sears, & Sears, 2003).
References
Does Baby Need Extra Water. (2011). Retrieved July 14, 2012, from Ask Dr. Sears: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/breastfeeding/faqs/does-baby-need-extra-water Hartshorn, J. (2012). All About Breastfeeding on Demand. Retrieved July 13, 2012, from Parents Magazine: http://www.parents.com/baby/breastfeeding/tips/breastfeeding-on-demand/ Noblet, R. (2012). The Dos and Don'ts of Weaning. Retrieved July 13, 2012, from Parents Magazine: http://www.parents.com/baby/breastfeeding/weaning/dos-and-donts/?rb=Y#page=3 Sears, W., Sears, M., Sears, R., & Sears, J. (2003). The Baby Book. New York: Hachette Book Group.
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