4 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
August 18, 2021
While breastfeeding is natural, it's not always easy. We asked Certified Lactation Counselor Sarah Mitchell for some tips to help make the process easier for mom and baby.
From increased infant immunity to improved maternal health and well-being, the benefits of breastfeeding are many. Still, only 60 percent of U.S. moms in the United States continue to breastfeed past their baby's first six months. There are for many reasons for why moms stop, including the mother's their need to return to work. We reached out spoke to Sarah Mitchell, a certified lactation counselor at The Lactation Connection at Renown, for some expert advice.
At first, it's normal to expect obstacles. Even in cultures where close to 100 percent of moms breastfeed, they can experience issues, including getting the baby to "latch on," sore nipples, and milk production. In addition, it sometimes can take several weeks for mom and baby to get comfortable.
Line up a coach, even before the baby is born. This can be a professional lactation coach, family member, or friend who is experienced and encouraging. While online videos can be helpful, most new moms need the one-on-one guidance that a coach can provide. Renown offers outstanding resources in its Lactation Connection center, including expert consultants, products, and support.
Well ahead of the due date, set up a support network of friends, family members, or community groups such as La Leche League. Women historically have relied on extended support systems to help them with raising children, and breastfeeding is one of those areas that, while natural, still needs encouragement from the women who’ve been there.
Don’t get discouraged if you need to supplement at times with formula. This, too, as it turns out, is not uncommon in other cultures. In other parts of the world, babies are given beverages and foods such as tea, broth, soup, juice, mashed bananas, and papaya. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supplementation only with approved formula -- but the point is, it’s ok to supplement if you need to.
Finally, don’t forget the importance of breastfeeding for connecting with your baby. It’s essential to maintain breastfeeding over the weekends, preferably “on-demand,.” and will keep that special bond strong after you have returned to your job.