Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and baby. Some benefits for baby include easier digestion, passage of antibodies to improve immune system function, lower risk of asthma, allergies, colic, less gas and feeding problems, lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Some benefits for mom include convenience, speeds up metabolism and helps with weight loss after delivery, cheaper.
How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?
- Your baby should nurse every 2-3 hours a day and feed about 10-15 minutes on each breast at each feeding
- Your baby is drowsy and content after nursing
- Your breasts feel firm and full before feeds
- Your baby has six wet diapers per day and his/her urine is clear.
- Your baby has three bowel movements per day. These should be yellow/seedy in appearance
- Your baby is gaining weight
Maintaining proper health during breastfeeding
- Drink plenty of liquid (especially water). Average eight glasses per day.
- Continue your prenatal or multivitamin
- Make sure you get 1,200 mg of calcium a day to protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis
- Avoid foods that bother the baby. If your baby gets fussy, a rash, diarrhea this could signal a food allergy. Contact your pediatrician.
Problems with breastfeeding
- Low breast milk- continue to stimulate the breast on a normal feeding schedule (every three hours). If this is not working, try phenugreek 1 gram every six hours (this can make your urine smell like maple syrup). If this is not working, call the office for a prescription for a raglan taper.
- Breast pain- if your breasts are red, hot, and painful this may be a sign of an infection of breast (mastitis). Please call the office.
- Breast burning or stabbing pain during feeds- this may signal a yeast infection in the breast. Please call the office.
- Breastfeeding questions- contact the lactation specialists (455-2229).
Desire to stop breastfeeding
- Weaning breastfeeding is a gradual process. Slowly cut out one feeding per day. Wait three to four days before eliminating the next feeding. Continue this process until all feedings have been eliminated.
- If you do not want to breastfeed try to the following: vitamin B6 200mg tid x 7 d, wear a tight sports bra, decrease breast stimulation, and use ice packs, motrin or Tylenol for pain.