Support Breastfeeding after birth

This is a pivotal period for mothers. Your support is essential. It is important to get breastfeeding off to a good start. Babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months and should continue to breastfeed 12 months and beyond, as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.

Ask the mother to tell you how breastfeeding is going. Affirm her feelings and address her concerns.

Explain baby’s hunger cues. Talk to her about the importance of establishing a good milk supply. Make sure she knows that the more she breastfeeds, the more milk she will make. Introducing formula will affect her milk supply.

Breastfed babies gain weight differently than formula fed babies. Talk to her about the number of feedings and soiled or wet diapers. Assure her that if she is concerned about her baby’s weight, she can come into the office for a weight check.

This is a good time to dispel myths. Mothers may think that putting cereal in a bottle will make their baby sleep through the night. Assure her that babies need to wake during the night to feed and this will not last forever. Cereal does not help babies sleep longer. It can be a choking risk and lead to obesity later in life.

Not everyone needs a pump. Discuss the mother’s needs and determine which pump is appropriate. Be aware of the various breast pumps available so you can provide guidance to the mother.
Inform her about the Breastfeeding Mothers’ Bill of Rights, the NYS law protecting mother’s rights to breastfeed in public, and the NYS law providing workplace accommodations for expressing milk at work.