Quick Tips for Initiating Breastfeeding

  • Plan to exclusively breastfeed. This means your baby is receiving your breast milk and nothing else. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months. If there is a medical reason for supplementation, feeding your baby with your own milk when possible is the best way to protect your milk supply. Your nurse will help you with ways to express your milk
  • Skin-to-skin care should be practiced immediately after birth for at least one hour and then as frequently as possible afterwards. Skin-to-skin care is when you keep your baby dressed only in a diaper and hat against your bare skin
  • Breastfeed within the first hour after birth, this should be done even if you have had a cesarean delivery
  • Early introduction of bottles and pacifiers should be avoided because it can keep you from establishing a good milk supply. Your entire baby’s suckling in the first few weeks should be at your breast
  • Keep your baby in the same room with you at all times. Rooming-in provides you the opportunity to learn your baby’s hunger cues

Pacifiers—To Use or Not to Use

What’s wrong with using a pacifier? Nothing, when breastfeeding is well-established, typically by four weeks.

In the early weeks of breastfeeding, pacifier use can:

  • Cause nipple confusion
  • Take the place of feeding or sucking for comfort at the breast which can decrease milk supply
  • Contribute to early weaning

Because pacifier use has been associated with a lower risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that after breastfeeding is well-established, a pacifier can be placed when the infant falls asleep but should not be replaced when it falls out.

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