World Breastfeeding Week
Christine Sweeney, LICSW Program Manager, Parent Connection, BIDMC
AUGUST 03, 2021
August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week
Many new parents are sometimes surprised and a little overwhelmed to realize that breastfeeding does not necessarily come naturally. Sarah Massey, RN, IBCLC, BIDMC lactation consultant says, “You may have taken a prenatal breastfeeding class, but your baby may not have been paying attention!”
Typically, learning to breastfeed is a new skill for both parent and baby. In fact, most new parents find a postpartum visit with a lactation consultant to be a necessity. At BIDMC, our labor and delivery and postpartum nurses are ready to assist you and your baby during your admission – but we know that a lot more learning happens after you leave the hospital. Many of your questions around breastfeeding can be addressed during our free postpartum, breastfeeding support group that meets every Wednesday from 12:00 - 1:30 pm on Zoom. Learn more and register here.
Check out some tips from Sarah Massey, RN, IBCLC:
- Babies don’t feed by the clock. Allow your baby to come off the breast on their own (typically between 10-30 minutes) before offering the other breast.
- Newborns need to have between 8-12 feeding sessions in 24 hours. Some of these feedings are close together, and some are spaced a bit further apart. Newborn breastfeeding does not follow a fixed schedule.
- Start feeding when you see the first feeding cues such as eye movements under the lids, stirring/stretching or making sucking motions. It’s best to start feeding when baby is calmest. Crying is the last feeding cue.
It helps to keep a written diary record the first few weeks, so that you can be sure that baby is getting enough breast milk. After a few nights of interrupted sleep, it’s hard to remember what you did five minutes ago, so write it down!
If you delivered at BIDMC, you were given a packet of information titled “Breastfeeding Your Baby: General Information.” This packet provides a wealth of information including a sheet to record the number of wet and soiled diapers, and how many of those diapers you should see in order to know if baby is getting enough. Between day 3-5 of life, baby should be producing 3-5 wet diapers and 2-3 bowel movements per day. By day 6 of life, baby should be producing between 6-8 wet diapers and 3 or more yellow bowel movements per day. If this is not happening, call your pediatrician as they may have you come in for a weight check.
Breastfeeding is going well when:
- You’re getting 8-12 feedings in a 24 hour period.
- You are not experiencing nipple pain throughout the feeding. You may have initial latch pain, but as the feeding continues, you should just feel a pulling sensation, not pain, not cracked or bleeding nipples.
- When baby comes off the breast your nipple should look like it did at the start of the feed, just longer.
- Baby is in good alignment throughout the feed, that is ears and hips should face the food!
We look forward to supporting your breastfeeding goals both during your inpatient stay and after you leave our postpartum units.