Babies need only breastmilk for the first 6 months. At about 6 months babies need to eat solid foods and continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years and beyond. Start solid foods that are nutritious, especially foods that are high in iron.
Breastfeeding is a unique experience with each new baby. It takes time for both of you to “get it right”.
To “get breastfeeding right”, it is important to:
- Hold your baby “skin to skin” for at least 60 minutes right after delivery and often during the days that follow
- Put your baby to breast as soon as possible, the first hour is most important
- Hold and position your baby correctly
- Latch your baby correctly
- Remove breastmilk frequently by hand expressing, even if your baby is feeding well. This milk can be fed to the baby by spoon.
- Removing breastmilk by hand expression in the first hour can increase your milk supply by 130% at 6 weeks!!
Giving commercial infant formula to a breastfed baby will reduce your breastmilk supply, giving expressed/pumped breastmilk is the better option.
If you decide not to breastfeed or stop breastfeeding, it is possible to restart, but it will be difficult.