When you breastfeed, you give your baby a healthy start that lasts a lifetime. Breastmilk is the perfect food for your baby. Breastfeeding saves lives, money and time.
Breastfeeding your baby
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first six months, that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby mutually desire. Medical research has given us many good reasons to breastfeed. It has a positive impact on the baby’s health and benefits for the mother.
Your baby should breastfeed within an hour of being born and then any time they seem hungry or awake. Babies don’t have a set feeding schedule for the first two weeks. Be patient while learning and expect that your baby won’t be predictable at first. It is normal for your baby to sleep and not seem to eat much on the first day. Your baby will act hungrier and eat more often on the second and third days. Your baby should breastfeed as often and for as long as they want during the first two weeks. This is called “baby-led feeding.”
The “magic hour”
Breastfeed as early as possible. We recommend that you hold your baby immediately after birth and place your baby skin-to-skin on your chest. The first hour after birth – called the “magic hour” – ideally is reserved for the infant and parent to get to know each other. During this early skin-to-skin time, the closeness helps your baby regulate his or her temperature along with heart and breathing rates and stimulates digestion and feeding behavior in your baby. It’s also very calming for both mom and baby.
Prisma Health’s certified lactation consultants are available to help you with any breastfeeding troubles, questions or concerns.
- Droplet – Breastfeeding education and videos by Jane Morton, MD
- llli.org (La Leche League International) – Breastfeeding information and local support group locations
- KellyMom.com – Includes answers to many breastfeeding questions
- BreastfeedingOnline.com – Information and support for moms who are breastfeeding
- KangarooMotherCare.com – Resource for skin-to-skin contact information
- LowMilkSupply.org – Information and support for moms who are experiencing low milk supply
- bfar.org – Breastfeeding information and support for moms who have had breast or nipple surgery
- HealthyChildren.org – Infant topics sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Breastfeeding Made Simple, Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC
- The Nursing Mother's Companion, Kathleen Huggins MS, RN
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: 7th Edition, La Leche League International
- Breastfeeding - A Parent's Guide, Amy Spangler, MN, RN, IBCLC