Breastfeeding: Getting Off to a Good Start
For mothers of term, healthy infants, exclusive breastfeeding during the first few weeks will help mothers and their babies get off to a good start. Mothers who breastfeed within one hour after delivery and breastfeed all feedings without using formula will have fewer breastfeeding problems.
By exclusively breastfeeding, you will:
- make enough milk for your infant over the weeks ahead
- provide your baby with valuable antibodies to fight infection
- prevent latch problems which can lead to sore nipples
- prevent bottle confusion where the baby won't take the breast
- prevent overfeeding and spitting up
- reduce the risk of nipple infections in the first few weeks
When infants are born, their stomachs are the size of a small marble so the colostrum in your breasts is just the right amount of food for your baby. If you are breastfeeding each feeding, your milk supply will grow as your baby's stomach grows.
Mothers who want to breast and bottle feed are encouraged to wait a few weeks to introduce bottles and formula because early breastfeeding is a very important time for you and your baby to learn the process. Many problems such as low milk production, sore nipples and infant not wanting the breast are caused by early and/or frequent bottle use. The doctors that will care for your infant at MUSC will want to make sure your baby is breastfeeding well before going home from the hospital. A lactation consultant will visit you during your hospital stay. Let us help you. We are here to help you get off to a good start.
For more information, please call one of our lactation consultants:
- Jeanne Barreira, CNM, MSN, IBCLC
- Barbara Haase, CPNP, MSN, IBCLC
- Martha Krauss, MSN, CNM, IBCLC
- Molly Gros, BSN, RNC-OB, IBCLC
- Penelope Bowman, BSN, CNM