Get Ready for Breastfeeding (or Get Help Now!)


Getting a great start with Breastfeeding! (also known as “Breastfeeding 101”)

 First and foremost, combat misinformation! For more evidence-based breastfeeding information please go to www.kellymom.com and www.nancymohrbacher.com
and check out this great article "5 Dangerous Myths That Can Sabotage Your Breastfeeding Relationship"

The info on this page covers the normal course of breastfeeding
in the first few weeks. If you are having any breastfeeding problems,
or if you want information before having your baby please 
contact a breastfeeding support person near you.


  • Believe that you are a mammal! The biggest obstacle mothers face is lack of support and misinformation.  Pain, sores, or a baby that “doesn’t want to breastfeed”, are not normal.  And breastfeeding after, or with, supplementation is possible.  There are answers for breastfeeding problems and getting help early makes things easier.  Attend a La Leche League (LLL) meeting, or contact a LLL Leader for breastfeeding support.  LLL welcomes pregnant, new and experienced moms and meetings are a great source of information (and wonderful for meeting other moms in your area!).  And, if you have breastfeeding problems, or just want personalized support, seek out an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) - a healthcare professional that provides a home visit coverable by insurance.  ZipMilk and LLLI are just two examples of how to find support.

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      www.zipmilk.org            www.llli.org

  • Know that babies can breastfeed on their own!  Many mothers are taught positions like the cradle and football holds - but these are more “advanced” positions.  Instead, use the “training wheels” of breastfeeding - Laid Back Nursing.  It’s comfortable for you and your baby, no special pillows are needed, and your baby will amaze you by self latching!  After a few weeks of practice, you will be sitting up and breastfeeding anywhere!
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Check out these wonderful resources (A) an article entitled “Many Moms May Have Been Taught to Breastfeed Incorrectly”, and (B) Laid Back Breastfeeding video (aka Natural Breastfeeding), to see breastfeeding in action -


(B) http://www.naturalbreastfeeding.com/ (you have to put in your info to get the fully functional link, if you have trouble you can find the individual clips that make up the whole video on Nancy Mohrbacher's YouTube channel)




  • Know about colostrum, tummy size and feeding on demand.  A newborn baby’s stomach is the size of a marble, and you make the perfect “supermilk” to fit that tiny tummy - colostrum!  Colostrum is densely packed with nutrients and antibodies - your baby’s first immune system. A baby’s tummy needs constant refilling, which means it’s normal for babies to feed often. Do not worry if your baby seems hungry “all the time”.  The first days/weeks of frequent feeding are great for your supply (the more you feed, the more milk you make!) and for your baby’s breastfeeding skills.  So, forget the every 2-3 hour rule that you hear.  Instead, watch for hunger cues and feed your infant on demand. Your baby will eventually space out feedings, but nursing 10-12 times per day (or more!) at random times of the day is totally normal for a newborn!



  • Know how to count diapers to measure how much milk your baby is getting. No need to worry about how much goes in, because you can see what’s coming out! See the graphic below (from LLL of Canada), or print out this very handy guide from Missouri WIC. Both of these resources cover tummy size, diaper counting, and more!





  • Finally, a word on pumping.  Pumping is great when you need it, and we can absolutely help you with any pumping questions that you have. But, when you are learning how to get breastfeeding started, it is not necessary to use the pump in the early weeks as long as breastfeeding is going well. In fact, using the pump can sometimes interrupt the process of learning how to nurse! The more you nurse the more milk you make, so put the pump on the shelf for now (unless you have a specific reason to use it, in which case please call us for help!).  If you do pump, please don’t judge your supply by how much milk you get - it can depend on so many factors: they type of pump, how the flanges fit your body, the time of day, and more. Please know that an efficiently nursing baby is better at getting milk than any pump. For mothers that need info on pumping, there are many wonderful resources available for getting the most out of your pump, please feel free to ask one of our leaders for more help with your pumping concerns (see the tab "Contact a Leader for Help!")


Happy Breastfeeding!

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