To round out our week of breastfeeding I have Kelly here from MommyBabyNurse.com to talk about having a breastfeeding plan. Most moms have a birth plan, or at least a good idea about what a perfect labor and delivery would be for them, but have you thought about how you will feed your baby? Kelly was nice enough to join us and talk to us a little about what to expect with breastfeeding in the hospital. Take it away Kelly!
As a mother baby nurse, I spend a large portion of my shift assisting parents with breastfeeding. It is one of the most time consuming aspects of my day. My wish is that families would research, discuss options and create a plan for their feeding goals before they ever land in labor and delivery. It is hard to support a new mother following birth if she doesn’t know how she plans to feed her baby.
My first question when I meet a new mom is “Tell me how you desire to feed long term… this helps us make a plan today to support you in obtaining that goal.”
How you chose to feed your baby is your personal choice – for some it is a clear cut choice to breast or formula feed. Some patients will tell us they want to breastfeed but deep down not really want to at all. Others have intentions to breastfeed, but once they don’t succeed they are quick to try other methods.
We are not here to judge anyone – some people take medication or have a medical diagnosis that is contraindicated with breast milk. Some folks have to go back to work or school in a very short period and feel formula feeding will help ease that transition. Some have no desire to ever breastfeed. Some folks have a hard time despite giving 100% to produce milk.
Parents, I want to reach out to you… I will support you wholeheartedly in any choice you make regarding how you want to feed your baby. There should be no shame or guilt in your decision. This is your child, your baby. My goal (job) is to simply make sure you make an educated choice.
I have compiled my top 10 tips I like to share with all mothers who have a goal of breastfeeding long term.
- Breastfeeding takes practice – for you and your baby
- Your milk supply generally takes an average of 72 hours to come in – often after you leave the hospital
- Every person that enters your room will have an opinion, story or advice – (family, friends, nurses, doctors, lactation consultants, etc)
- Breastfeeding is not for everyone – medications, sensitivity, etc
- We will not suggest supplementing unless your baby has a medical reason that supplementation can help with such as – >10% weight loss, high bilirubin levels (jaundice), low blood sugars
- If your baby is not active at the breast in the beginning it is encouraged to pump at regular intervals to provide stimulation to enhance milk production (you will not produce more than drops in the first few pumping sessions, do not let this discourage you, remember it is for stimulation)
- If you feel like everyone is telling you something different in regards to feeding, they are… What your nurse told you in regards to feeding when your baby is 12 hours old is different from what is needed and expected when your baby is 48 hours old, ask f0r clarification.
- You have to wake a baby to feed in the beginning – sometimes this is next to impossible – I suggest unwrapping them, changing their diaper, remove their shirt – even after all these tricks and they fall asleep once you get them at the breast – try again and pump in the interim.
- Babies feed on demand in the beginning (it can be exhausting) – often babies cluster feed (5-10 feedings over 2-3 hours) in the first few days and later when experiencing a growth spurt
- It is important to understand feeding cues your baby is displaying to let you know they are hungry – hands at mouth, rooting, etc (crying is actually a late sign – this is why we encourage you to keep your baby in your room while in the hospital)
So now it is up to you to decide what will work best for your sweet family. Think it over, educate yourself, and come to the hospital feeling confident of your decisions. You can change your mind at any time and if you feel overwhelmed or under supported or judged – let your nurse or their supervisor know – you should feel empowered, this is your baby, you are their superhero – you are a mom!
Did you make a plan before giving birth? Were you able to stick to your goal in the hospital? What happened that made you stray from “Plan A”?
Hello! I’m Kelly, BSN RN. I am a mother by nature and a mother baby nurse by trade! I work in Women’s Health. My true passion is mother baby, where I help parents learn, explore and appreciate this new life they brought into the world. I am married and have 3 rough and tumble little boys. My boys have taught me more about the maternal newborn field than any class or textbook will ever be able to do! I hope my experiences with pregnancy, delivery and postpartum will help you no matter where you are in your mother baby journey.