If you’re like many new moms, you are probably planning on breastfeeding your baby. It is the best way to provide essential nutrients and begin building your baby’s immune system. However, while many infants naturally take to the breast, there are others who have trouble learning. If the latter is your situation, it’s important not to get discouraged. There are certain tips for success and options that can help if breastfeeding doesn’t work.
Feed Your Baby Skin to Skin
Babies generally take to breastfeeding naturally when they are laid skin to skin on their moms. Lay your baby undressed down to the diaper across your chest. You will find it easier for them to reach the breast to begin suckling.
Try Getting a Good Latch
Your baby should have a good latch on your breast. This is beneficial for both of you and is comfortable for both as well. Your baby should have more than just the nipple but also the areola in their mouth. A good latch should never hurt and should ensure your baby gets colostrum, the first milk after giving birth, from your breast.
Keep Your Baby Awake
Babies tend to fall asleep while nursing. However, this isn’t ideal because they may not get colostrum. Additionally, it might result in your breast not producing milk. It’s important to ensure your baby is awake while breastfeeding to encourage nursing. Do anything possible to keep the little one awake, including rubbing their head, feet or arm and massaging their back.
Consider Donated Breast Milk
If your baby is having trouble breastfeeding, consider getting donated breast milk to feed them from a bottle. This is a great option if latching onto your breast is too challenging for your baby.
A Little Is Better Than None
If your baby is only getting a minimal amount of breast milk, keep in mind that a little is better than none. Colostrum has necessary enzymes and antibodies to help strengthen a baby’s immune system.
Practice Bottle Nursing
Practice feeding your baby with a bottle if they’re having trouble with breastfeeding. This is still a great way to interact and bond with one another. Plus, your baby still gets essential nourishment.
It’s OK if your baby doesn’t instantly take to breastfeeding; there are always other options that can be just as good.
Do you have more questions about breastfeeding or maternity care in Salem Oregon? Contact our friendly staff at WFMC Health or become a new patient today!