- Get informed: take a prenatal breastfeeding class, talk to your health care provider about your birth plan and identify positive people who will support you in your breastfeeding journey. If you have questions, online info at Niagara Parents or Contact Us .
- Understand the importance of breastfeeding and skin to skin within the first hour of birth. Research has shown that babies who breastfeed early and get lots of skin to skin contact immediately after birth, breastfeed longer and more successfully. Keeping your baby with you in your room allows you to watch for your babies “cues” so baby can feed frequently.
- Research also shows that hand expression (removing milk from your breasts by hand) of colostrum within the first hour of birth can have a bigger impact on future milk production than at any other time. Expressing in the first hour decreases the time it takes for your milk volume to increase and increases production by 130% at 6 weeks. To maximize your milk supply in the early days, hand express often even if baby is latching well. Hand express a few drops before feeds, after feeds and anytime you have the opportunity.
- Be aware that you have all the milk the baby needs in those first few days. The early milk, colostrum, is specifically made for the newborn’s small stomach. Babies are meant to feed very frequently in the first days after birth. Babies rarely need any other liquids other than your breastmilk.
- Know that breastfeeding is the normal way to feed your baby. Be aware of the risks of not breastfeeding your baby and the effects of unnecessary supplementation.
July 2019 – ks