We at Internal Medicine & Pediatrics of Tampa Bay strongly support you in your efforts to breastfeed your baby. We promote exclusive breast feeding when possible, and we agree that in most cases breast milk is the most optimal food for your baby. While breast feeding is often the goal, we also realize that the process can be frustrating at times. We welcome your questions and concerns, and we are here to help you in any way possible. We have many resources available and will assist you in finding ways to improve your breastfeeding experience. We also understand that breastfeeding is not always easy or realistic for all families. We are happy to discuss alternate options and assist you in making the best decision for you and your baby.
Here are our top ten breastfeeding tips to help you out:
- Breastfeeding is natural, but certainly not always easy. Be patient and don’t stress.
- Over the first few days, breastfeeding can be the toughest. There is not much fluid volume yet. Both you and your baby are working on technique. Hang in there.
- Breast milk may take even longer to come in for first-born babies and those born via C-Section, so be even more patient.
- Creating a good latch and seal is important to help the baby nurse correctly and avoid pain. This is something to practice over the first few days. We are happy to help with this or we can refer you to a lactation specialist.
- Nurse frequently in the beginning. Frequent breast stimulation helps milk come in faster, and the extra practice is good for you and your baby.
- Try to nurse at least 8 to 10 times per 24 hours in the beginning. This averages about every 2 to 3 hours.
- Monitor your baby’s urine and stool output. If there are lots of wet and dirty diapers, that is a good sign that the baby is getting enough volume.
- Breast fed babies have stools that are often soft, yellow, mushy, and a little seedy. They almost look like mustard. If you noticed that your baby’s stools are transitioning to this description, that is a good sign your breast milk is coming in.
- Many moms have questions about using a breast pump. This can be an option for some to supplement with nursing or even to store extra breast milk. If you are interested, please discuss with your pediatrician to discuss a plan that will work for you and your baby.
- Finally, it is always not possible for all mothers or all babies to breastfeed. If that is the case, we are happy to go over your options. Breast milk is still the goal, and we can discuss pumping and bottle feeding for your newborn. If breast milk is absolutely not a possibility, we can talk about other nutritional options.