Breastfeeding can be enormously beneficial to mom and baby alike, but it takes time to adjust to the process. At St. Petersburg Hospital, we help moms learn what to expect during from breastfeeding during prenatal classes at our Birthing Center, and our maternity nurses and midwives are available to help new moms with breastfeeding after labor and delivery. As you welcome your new baby into the world, use these tips to make your transition to breastfeeding successful.
After labor and delivery, cradle your baby skin to skin. During this time, your milk production will be triggered, as will your baby’s desire to eat. Many babies are hungry in the hour after birth, so take this opportunity to allow your baby to naturally find your breast and become accustomed to feeding. Your nurse can help you find a comfortable position and show you how to look for signs that your baby is hungry.
It’s important to let your baby dictate the way he or she prefers to eat. Some babies like to have long feedings, while other prefer several shorter ones. In the beginning, you may need to breastfeed your baby up to eight times per day to allow him or her to get necessary nutrients. Instead of timing or forcing feedings, look for your baby’s cues. Newborns lick their lips and put their hands in the mouth when they want to feed, rather than crying. Feed when you see those signs and stop feeding when your baby seems full.
Take Care of Yourself
While breastfeeding, be sure to eat a healthy diet. You may need to drink more fluids to offset those you’re losing while feeding. Ask your partner, family, and friends to help around the house, especially for the first few weeks. Try to get rest while your baby is resting so you can be up when he or she needs to eat.
The OBGYN team and midwives at St. Petersburg General Hospital are here to make your transition into motherhood as easy as possible. From our prenatal classes to our comfortable labor and delivery rooms, you’ll find everything you need at our St. Petersburg hospital. Get more information by calling (888) 741-5122.