La Mesa Pediatrics supports breastfeeding!
La Mesa Pediatrics has an in-house lactation consultant!
Human milk is made specifically for human infants. Babies were made to breastfeed, however every mother-baby pair is unique. There are no breastfeeding “rules” – there are guidelines to help you know that your baby is getting enough to eat.
Practice skin to skin as soon as possible after delivery. Most babies will find the breast and self-latch. If your baby does not latch during this time, continue frequent skin to skin and seek help with positioning and latching. Your nurses will be well trained in helping with breastfeeding – and hospital-based lactation specialists will be available to work with you as needed.
Your baby will nurse an average of 8 to 12 times a day. Your nurse will teach you about feeding cues and how to respond to your baby. Colostrum is your baby’s first meal. It is “liquid gold” and is in small but plentiful amounts. In 2 to 4 days your baby’s growing appetite and need for more intake will be satisfied by a change from colostrum to transitional milk. You will see your milk supply increase to meet your baby’s needs.
Avoid supplementation unless it is medically indicated. If your baby is not latching well or if supplements are necessary, begin breast pumping right away. Establishing a milk supply is essential to working through any breastfeeding problems.
Your hospital will have a wealth of breastfeeding information available for you. Attend any classes that are offered prior to your discharge home. Initiate a breastfeeding log once your baby is born. Discharge books will be filled with breastfeeding information. Most hospitals offer breastfeeding support groups – they are facilitated by lactation educators and consultants.
Breastfeeding questions will surely crop up once you are home with your new baby. Occasionally problems will occur. If you are experiencing any of the following, notify your pediatrician and seek hands-on lactation help:
- Sore nipples– severe constant nipple pain – bruised, blistered or bleeding nipples
- Baby nursing very short periods or very long periods – very sleepy during feedings
- Baby having fewer than 6 wet diapers in 24 hours and/or little or no stools
- Baby is not gaining appropriate weight
- Milk supply is low – supplementation is recommended
La Mesa Pediatrics is also ready to help with breastfeeding questions as your baby grows older.
The Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as solid foods are introduced. The recommendation is to continue breastfeeding for one year or longer as mutually desired by mother and her baby.