Breastmilk is good for your baby. It is superior to any alternative form of infant formulaand is uniquely designed to meet the nutritional needs of your infant. It contains antibodies which will help protect your baby against illness. Breastfeeding is easy, inexpensive, and convenient; there are no bottles to wash and no formula to prepare. Breastmilk is easy to digest, and less allergenic, thus there are fewer problems with constipation and diarrhea. Breastfeeding provides a special bonding for baby and mother. It also helps mom get back into shape by contracting the uterus.
While breastfeeding may be the natural thing to do, it helps to know a little about how to do it. Here are a few steps to help you get started.
1.Your baby should have at least 6-8 wet diapers per day and frequent bowel movements. Call us if your newborn is stooling less then 4 times a day in the first two weeks of life.
2.Initially, your baby should nurse 8-14 times over 24 hours (every 1 1/2 to 3 hrs). In the first 2 weeks of life, you should wake your baby for feedings if she sleeps beyond 5 hours.
3.Your breast should feel full before feeding and softer after your baby has nursed.
4.In general, your baby should seem satisfied and content after feeding. If you are concerned, you should call us. We may want to have the baby weighed.
Situations arise where you may need to be separated from your baby; school, work or an evening out. When this occurs, you may wish to pump and store your milk ahead of time. There are a number of different breast pumps available and you will need to find the one that fits your needs.
Breast milk may be stored in the refrigerator for 48 hours. To freeze breast milk, first cool it in the refrigerator, and then put it into the freezer. Frozen breast milk should be used within 3 months if it is stored in the freezer compartment of a refrigerator. Milk stored in a deep freezer is good for 6 months. Remember to label the breast milk with the date that you pumped it. Thaw milk in the refrigerator or in warm water just before feeding. Thawed milk must be used within 24 hours. Note: freezing breastmilk destroys some of its antibodies.
You may introduce a bottle of breast milk or formula at 2-3 weeks of age (2-3 times/week). This is enough to get your baby used to a bottle, but not so much that it will compromise your breast milk supply.