This encourages the frequent feeding and physical contact your new baby needs at this time. It is also an opportunity to get to know your new baby and become comfortable with basic baby care.
During your stay you will have a nursing staff committed to helping breastfeeding mothers get the best possible start. The nursing staff at Cheshire Medical Center is experienced and knowledgeable and will assist you with these early feedings. A lactation consultant will visit with you during your stay to help get you started on breastfeeding and ensure that all questions and concerns are addressed.
We encourage you to ask questions and seek assistance with feedings while you are in the hospital.
How to prepare for breastfeeding
It is natural to have many questions about how to feed your baby. If you have decided to nurse your baby here are some suggestions on how you can get ready.
- Attend a childbirth education, prenatal breastfeeding class or a La Leche League meeting. Bring the father of the baby and/or family members who may have questions about breastfeeding.
- Talk with other expectant moms. Spend some time with women who are nursing or who have nursed their babies.
- Choose a pediatrician or family practitioner who supports breastfeeding
- Relax, eat well and take care of yourself
- Plan to listen to your baby. Most newborn babies need to be held and fed a lot. It is normal for newborns to nurse often at first.
Tips for getting started
- Nurse as soon as the baby is willing after birth. Many newborn infants are quietly alert for an hour or two and interested in learning to nurse.
- Encourage the baby to latch correctly. The lactation and nursing staff can assist you with positioning and timing. It sometimes takes a little while for the baby to learn to open wide and latch on effectively.
- Nurse frequently and on demand. A newborn infant may need to nurse 10-12 times a day at first.
- Avoid supplements, pacifiers and artificial nipples at first, if possible. Nursing frequently will help establish a good milk supply and ensure that the baby gets enough to eat.
- Eat well and drink enough fluid, about 500 extra calories and 6-8 glasses of water. Rest as much as you possibly can.
Most new mothers and their babies stay in the hospital for 1-4 days after delivery. This is a good time to learn about breastfeeding basics, get some rest and spend uninterrupted time with your baby. Before discharge we will review with you what to expect in the coming days and how to tell if your baby is getting enough to eat.
After you and your baby are discharged you will get a phone call from a lactation consultant in a day or two. We check with all our new moms to offer support and answer any questions that may have come up since discharge.
Call the Lactation Resource Center at 603-354-5480 for help and support if:
- Your baby is unable to nurse or is nursing less than 7 times in a 24-hour period
- You can’t hear your baby swallowing after your milk comes in
- You are not sure if your milk has come in
- Your baby is not having yellow, seedy stools (3 a day) by 5 days of age
- Your breasts are hard and painful, or your nipples cracked and sore
- You are considering giving up
- You have a sore or red area on your breast, a temperature or flu-like symptoms
- You have questions or concerns about how things are going
- You have questions about breastfeeding, returning to work or breast pump rental/ purchase
Trust yourself. You will find the best way to mother your baby even if your mother, sister or friends did it differently. Ask lots of questions and keep in touch with friends and health care professionals.