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5 Tips for Early Breastfeeding Success

Did you know that your earliest experiences with your baby will help you in a successful breastfeeding journey? Here are some tips that may help:

  1. Skin to skin contact immediately after delivery. This is the ‘golden hour’, where you can immediately bond with your baby. It is ideal for you to have skin-on-skin contact with you until the first time you breastfeed or at least during that first hour. Let your family know that they may have to wait a for that hour before they can hold the new baby. Allow yourself to enjoy your baby! Talk to your healthcare providers to ensure that this is followed, and find out what their standard procedure is. It’s good to be prepared beforehand.
  2. When your baby shows signs of hunger, like smacking their lips or gnawing at their hands, breastfeed them. It’s not possible to feed your baby too often. In fact, the more you feed them, the more milk you will produce. To keep your supply up, do it as often as you can.
  3. Delay the first bath. Arrange for a bath only after at least 6 to 8 hours. Unless there is a reason to bathe them for infection reasons, delaying the first bath time helps baby maintain a higher body temperature, as well as better blood sugars. They will also cry less.
  4. Keep baby in the same room as you. For this, it’s important to check with your healthcare providers and birth professionals on what the protocol is. Keeping baby in the same room as you gives you easy access to your baby and helps with the early bonding process. Moreover, research has shown that new mothers don’t get more sleep just by sending baby back to the nursery.
  5. Worrying about your milk supply is normal. It’s okay to not get it right the first time. It can take months for new moms to adjust to breastfeeding and to get into the rhythm of it. So please don’t be too hard on yourself! Seek out support from breastfeeding support groups and new mom groups.

Remember, there are always resources both online and offline. Check out our stories for new mothers and their breastfeeding journeys – Racheal’s  Breastfeeding Journey – and if you’ve decided that breastfeeding is best for you and your baby, persevere and don’t give up!

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