Use this checklist filled with breastfeeding information to help you get ready for breastfeeding. Success can be ensured by preparation and planning , this will get you going.
A nursing bra. There are thousands on the market. Just like any other bra, it is important that you try it on before you buy. It is strongly suggested you buy one that is at least one cup larger and one inch larger around. than your breasts pre delivery. After the delivery you may have some swelling of breast tissue and extra water retention. With in a few days your body will shed the extra water and you can buy a bra that better fits your new figure.
Make sure your nursing bra unhooks and allows your breast to be free of any pressure while nursing. A sports type bra is known to cause plugged ducts and breast infections.
Lansinol is a great product for chapped or sore nipples. It is especially made for nursing babies, which ensures it is safe for a baby to nurse even right after it is applied.
A nursing pillow. It allows for easier positioning, especially after a c section or with multiples. There are many on the market. Many moms have said they prefer a pillow that snaps in the back. It makes positioning the pillow exactly where you want it and it stay in positions easier.
A breast pump. If you are planning on returning to work and pumping, you will need a good reliable pump that will ensure a good supply with out damaging your breast tissue. Medela and Advent are highly recommended.
Support is the number one thing a new Dad can do for his baby and partner. Which might mean, getting her a glass of water every time she nurses. Or making a healthy lunch or dinner. Many families find that co sleeping is the best arrangement for the entire family. It allows for important bonding time with the baby, the new parents don’t have to get out of bed to get the crying baby, and everyone sleeps better.
Most areas have a La Leche League meeting near by for pregnant and nursing moms to attend. Children of all ages are welcomed. Go to http://www.lalecheleague.org/ to find a wealth of information on every single aspect of breastfeeding and the breastfeeding family, and where you can find a local La Leche League Leader. All Leaders are accredited through La Leche League. If you are unable to find a meeting right in your home town, contact the nearest leader. She may know of another Leader who is closer to you than you think.
Check if baby is getting enough.Typically during the first few days, while the baby is receiving mother’s thick, immunity-boosting colostrum, he will wet only one or two diapers per day.Once mother's milk comes in, usually on the third or fourth day, the baby should begin to have 6-8 wet cloth diapers (5-6 wet disposable diapers) per day. (An easy way to feel the weight of a wet disposable diaper is to pour 2-4 tablespoons of water in a dry diaper.)
In addition, most young babies will have at least two to five bowel movements every 24 hours for the first several months, although some babies will switch to less frequent but large bowel movements at about 6 weeks.
A baby that is sleeping rather than feeding every 2-3 hours or is generally lethargic may need to be assessed by a health care provider to make sure that he is adequately hydrated.
These are additional important signs that indicate your baby is receiving enough milk:
The baby nurses frequently averaging at least 8-12 feedings per 24-hour period.
The baby is allowed to determine the length of the feeding, which may be 10 to 20 minutes per breast or longer.
Baby’s swallowing sounds are audible as he is breastfeeding.
The baby should gain at least 4-7 ounces per week after the fourth day of life.
The baby will be alert and active, appear healthy, have good color, firm skin, and will be growing in length and head circumference. If you have any concerns regarding your baby, they should be addressed with your health care practitioner.
Feed often enough. Every baby is different! Due to individual differences, healthy full-term babies may breastfeed as often as every hour or as infrequently as every four hours and thrive. Daily breastfeeding patterns will vary from baby to baby and from day to day
Many mothers are surprised at how quickly and easily human milk is digested (often within 90 minutes of the last feeding). Rather than watching the clock it is recommended that a mother watch for signs that her newborn is hungry, such as the rooting reflex, chewing/sucking on hands or fingers, or crying.
Mothers can follow their baby's lead in how often to breastfeed, as long as their baby is getting enough. Breastfed babies regulate themselves; they take what they need at each feeding, and from each breast. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy, full-term newborns should breastfeed eight to twelve times in each 24-hour period. This equates to feedings two to three hours apart.
Thus, if your baby is not breastfeeding at least eight to twelve times in a 24-hour period in the early weeks, you may need to wake your baby to breastfeed more often. It is important that you rouse your baby for feeding as necessary so your baby will gain properly.
Some mothers are concerned when their baby wants to breastfeed more often than every two hours. "During the early months, many babies do what is called 'cluster feeding;' spacing feedings closer together at certain times of the day (typically during the evening) and going longer between feedings at other times" This variability in frequency is normal. Moreover, many breastfeeding problems -- including those attributed to "too much milk" or "not enough milk" -- are resolved with more frequent nursing.