Tips for breastfeeding from a lactation expert

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Michele Carnesecca, Registered Nurse (RN) and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) at Intermountain American Fork Hospital, joined the baby shower to stress the importance of mothers taking care of themselves just as much as they’re caring for their babies.

Michele said it’s easy to get caught up in the needs of your baby first–they’re completely dependent on you, after all! But it’s critical that mothers remember to take care of themselves–similar to how travellers are instructed to take care of their own oxygen masks first in case of an emergency on an airplane. 

If mamas aren’t taking care of themselves, it will become harder to produce enough milk supply for their little ones. To prevent this, Michelle offered six easy tips to be conscientious of: 

Sleep

With baby waking at night, the sleep part can be hard, so you need to nap during the day when the baby naps.

Hydration

Drink before you’re thirsty. It is a good idea to have a container of water next to you while you are breastfeeding. Drink six eight-ounce glasses of water a day–plain water with no additives is best.

Eat well

Eat plenty of vegetables, lean protein, fruit and whole grains. Fresh fruits and vegetables have more nutrients and anti-oxidants than canned. Limit the amount of processed foods that contain: white flour, sugar, refined grains, additives and preservatives.

Eat enough

You need about 2,000 calories per day to maintain a good milk supply. If you notice your milk supply decreasing, try eating more.

Reduce stress

Don’t try to do too many things while you’re still recovering from childbirth.

Additionally, Michele offered six things to know while breastfeeding: 

  1. Practice skin to skin contactBenefits: it helps stabilize the baby’s temperature, breathing, heart rate. They cry less. It stimulates brain development. It encourages mom to breastfeed, improves milk production, reduces postpartum complications and depression.
  2. Let baby determine the feeding schedule. Nurse your baby when they’re hungry. Watch for feeding cues: routing, sucking on hand, crying when not wet or uncomfortable. 
  3. Babies have growth spurts and may need to nurse more frequently at times. 
  4.  Breastfeeding works by supply and demand. The more baby nurses, the more milk your body will produce.
  5. Breast milk digests more easily and quickly than formula.
  6. Breast-fed babies need to eat often. The colostrum that’s in breast milk in the first few weeks is digested in about 45 minutes. Breast milk is digested in approximately 1.5 hours. Formula takes about 3-4 hours to digest.

If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, be sure to talkwith a lactation consultant at the hospital or after you go home

For more information, head to 

https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/pediatrics/services/lactation-consultation/

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