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  • The Decision to Breastfeed

  • Many new moms have unrealistic expectations about breastfeeding. It's important to realize that breastfeeding needs to be learned by both mother and baby. You might want to attend a breastfeeding support group to talk with and learn from other new mothers. The Noreen Stonor Drexel Birthing Center at Newport Hospital offers a weekly breastfeeding support group for new moms.

    Newborns nurse at least every two hours, but not on a strict schedule. Breast milk is more easily digested than formula, therefore breastfed babies generally feed more often than bottle-fed babies. Your baby will give you subtle cues he is hungry. Your baby may smack his or her lips, open his mouth, or put suck on his hand to signal it is time for a feeding. Frequent feedings will stimulate your breasts to produce an adequate milk supply.  

    Being prepared to breastfeed can make the experience easier and more enjoyable. Before each feeding, take time to relax. A mother's emotional state directly affects her let-down response. Also, babies can sense when their mothers are tense, so it's important to be calm when breastfeeding.

    Being comfortable every time you breastfeed is important. Sit in a comfortable chair and elevate your legs on a stool. Taking pressure off your bottom will help you feel more comfortable during your first few days or weeks at home.

    Babies prefer to be held close to you, and they are soothed by skin-to-skin contact. Properly positioning the baby can help make breastfeeding more successful.

    Proper Positioning >>