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Breastfeeding Advice from Pediatric Alliance

The first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week.  Katie Nickolich, CNRP, IBCLC, and our newest board certified lactation consultant at Pediatric Alliance, offers insight to new and expecting parents about the secrets to breastfeeding. 

According to Katie, in the first few weeks, breastfeeding is a full time job as babies need 8-12 feedings a day. After a few weeks, your baby will start to go longer between feedings, making it easier to establish a feeding schedule. Milk supply is a very common worry among mothers, but using breast pumps can be helpful. Katie states that supply is driven by milk removal or emptying of the breasts, which means empty breasts signal the body to produce more milk.
Whether or not the baby is getting enough milk is a common concern. There are a few easy ways to tell including adequate weight gain- typically 1/2oz daily, baby seems satisfied after each feed, and good wet diapers as explained by Katie as at least one wet diaper per every day old in the first week. This means if a child is three days old, watch for three wet diapers that day.  Newborns are very sleepy especially in the first few days or weeks after birth and may need to be woken up for or during feedings. Katie has several suggestions on how to wake up your tired baby including changing their diaper, gently rubbing their back or feet, switching breasts when the baby gets drowsy, attempting to burp the baby, and wiping their face with a cool, damp cloth. 

Breastfeeding mothers often complain about soreness, which is usually due to poor positioning. Katie advises mothers to be in a comfortable position while having your baby close to you and your breast supported. Katie even suggests trying a sandwich hold which is done by lining up your thumb with your baby’s nose with your fingers under the breast causing your hand to form a C shape from your viewpoint. Another cause of soreness is an improper latch. A good latch should be painless.  A baby’s head should be tilted back with their chin resting on your breast. However, your baby’s cheeks should not suck in or make clicking noises. Audible swallows should occur at least once every three sucks. Every woman’s experience with breastfeeding may be different. It is important to see a doctor or a lactation consultant about any questions or concerns you may have.

Pediatric Alliance is home to many lactation experts and is proud to support World Breastfeeding Week. As time demanding as it may be, Katie’s advice to new mothers is to hang in there as both you and your baby will reap the benefits of breastfeeding. 

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