Dallas, Madison, Polk and Warren Counties in Iowa
No matter what you eat your body will make perfect breast milk for your baby! It’s important that you eat a healthy diet to take care of yourself.
Fish has healthy fats that are good for you and your baby.
Latching takes practice! Be patient with yourself and your baby.
The reclining, or laid-back, position is a good way to start breastfeeding. As feeding your baby gets easier, you can try other positions too. Make sure baby’s tummy is turned toward you. Pillows can help you get comfortable.
Skin-to-skin contact is important for babies of any age, and for their parents! It can soothe and stabilize your baby, and it helps create a strong bond.
The first feeding
Holding your baby skin to skin in her first hour of life will help her start to breastfeed.
Hand expression, or removing breast milk with your hand, can be a useful tool. Hand expression can help to relieve breast fullness (to make it easier for baby to latch), can increase milk supply, and can be used to provide breast milk to a baby.
There are many different techniques to hand express. There is no right or wrong way, so you may need to experiment to find out what way works best for you.
Steps for hand expression
If hand expression is painful or uncomfortable, you may be compressing too hard. Try gentle compression. Also try to avoid sliding your fingers along the skin or squeezing the nipple because that can be painful.
Here is a video of one technique for hand expression.
Hand expression gets easier with practice. Don’t worry if you aren’t able to get much milk out the first time you try. Experiment with different techniques—it will get easier with time. Contact WIC if you would like more suggestions. We are happy to help you!
Many parents worry if their baby is getting enough breast milk. Weight gain is the best way to tell if your baby is getting enough breast milk. Counting wet and dirty diapers can also be helpful.
Signs that your baby is getting enough breast milk
* Some weight loss (5-7%) during the first 3-4 days after birth is normal. A baby should regain back to their birth weight by 10-14 days. If you have concerns about the amount of weight your baby is losing, connect with a lactation consultant.
How do you know if breastfeeding is going well?
If you answered yes to these questions, you are doing great! If you answered no, contact WIC and we can help!