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Whether or not you breastfeed your newborn is a personal decision.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “exclusive breastfeeding through the first six months of life” and states that human milk is the “ideal food” for infants. The advantages of breastfeeding your infant are numerous.

We at Westwood-Mansfield Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding as the preferred route of feeding your baby. Breastfeeding is not always easy at first and our lactation consultants and providers are prepared to support you as much as needed during this process.

While breastfeeding is not for everyone, we hope you will give it strong consideration. There may be circumstances, when bottle feeding is desirable.

Whatever decision is right for you, Westwood-Mansfield Pediatrics will work with you to promote and ensure your child’s health.

Breastfeeding basics

In the first month of life, early and frequent feedings lay the foundation for successful breastfeeding. On average, it takes 3-5 days for a mother’s milk to come in. Until then, breastfed babies are anticipated to lose weight, and the primary goal of nursing is to hasten the production of milk. The more frequently babies nurse, the sooner the milk comes in. As such, newborns need to feed 8-12 times each day (approximately every 2-3 hours) in the first weeks of life to ensure adequate milk supply and weight gain.

Newborns will typically nurse for approximately 20-40 minutes per feeding – but remember this is only a guideline as some babies are more vigorous and others prefer to “graze”. The best measures of successful nursing include good weight gain (and not too much weight loss in the first 3-4 days), multiple yellow and seedy stools daily, maternal sense of good breast emptying, and parental sense of the baby’s satisfaction and well-being

The initiation of breastfeeding your infant does not always go smoothly. It is important to make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids to help ensure adequate milk supply. For some mothers, nutritional supplements (like Mother’s Milk tea and Fenugreek) may be indicated. In addition, using a breast pump can help stimulate milk supply. Our lactation consultants and physicians can help you determine whether either of these are required.

Engorgement may occur at different degrees between day 3-5 of life. Breastfeeding your baby frequently is the ideal way to help relieve engorgement. Applying a warm compress to the breast or taking a hot shower prior to feeding may be helpful. Between feedings, cold compresses should be applied to the breasts; a bag of frozen peas in your bra works great!

While the initiation of breastfeeding often goes smoothly, it may take up to one month for the baby and mother to become a successful breastfeeding team! We at Westwood-Mansfield Pediatrics are prepared to support you in your quest. We welcome the opportunity to discuss any and all breastfeeding issues and encourage families to call with any and all questions.

You can do it!

Lactation APNO recipe

Sometimes, during the early stages of breastfeeding a mother’s nipples may become cracked and sore. Below is a home remedy that helps treat and soothe this condition.

If sore nipples persist after a few days of use, there may be a problem with your baby’s latch mechanism. Please discuss this with your provider at your next visit.

APNO recipe (cream for sore, cracked nipples)

  • 1% Hydrocortisone (1 tablespoon)
  • Polysporin (1 tablespoon)
  • Miconazole Ointment (1 tablespoon)

Mix all ingredients in a clean container. Rub small amount on nipples and areola after feeding. You do not need to wipe off prior to your next feeding.