Hi! I’m a nurse practitioner, but I’m also a lactation consultant and I just want to talk to you for a few minutes about the benefits of breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.
Breastfeeding is very important. It has many health benefits. There have been 20 year studies that have shown that breastfed infants have decreased bacterial illnesses and decreased viral illnesses, decreased ear infections, and it increases mother and baby bonding. Studies have also shown that mothers have less postpartum depression.
It’s a wonderful thing that starts as soon as the baby has been delivered. Breastfeeding should begin within 2 hours of delivery, and it’s very important to get in touch with your lactation consultant in the hospital to identify any problems that you might have so you can quickly resolve those and have a smooth experience.
Additional Breastfeeding Information
LATCH ISSUES – Pain is often caused by poor a latch on the breast during feeding. Poor latch can be the result of positioning, tied tongue or lip, engorgement, large nipples, or prematurity. Speak to your pediatrician or mom’s healthcare provider for help with this issue. If the latch is correct, there should be no pain.
MASTITIS – An inflammation of the breast tissue that resulting from an infection. It is very common with breastfeeding. Treatment will require an antibiotic and be implemented by mom’s health care provider.
PLUGGED DUCT – A plugged milk duct or clogged duct will feel hard and tender and can vary in size (likely the size of a pea). Treatment is to use a warm compress, or take warm bath, massaging the area and to massage the area while nursing.
BABY GASSINESS/STOMACH ISSUES – Stomach issues can be caused by several factors; mom’s diet, such as dairy, acidic foods and caffeine, air being swallowed from a loose latch, or cluster feeding, which is normal. It can be very frustrating for mom but is perfectly normal.
SOOTHING TECHNIQUES FOR FUSSY TIMES:
- Wear baby in a sling/carrier
- Soothe with sound or “white noise”
- Walk, bounce, dance, sway
- Reduce stimulation – dim the lights, swaddle the baby
VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENT– Daily vitamin D supplement of 400 iu is recommended by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatricians). There is increased evidence in the last few years indicating a vitamin D deficiency in western countries and comes from decreased time spent in the sun.