How to Begin Breastfeeding
Feeding is a special time for you to nourish your baby, as well as bond
emotionally. Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed is a very
personal decision and it is one we hope you will take to heart. We encourage
you to learn about breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding can be very frustrating at first. But please don't give
up! It takes time for both you and baby to get the hang of it. Some babies
will latch on right away, while others take time to get used to it. If
you are patient, you will see what a wonderful experience breastfeeding can be.
One of the keys to a successful breastfeeding experience is getting started
early. Breastfeed you baby as soon as possible after birth, preferably
within the first hour. The first attempt may feel awkward but it is very
important. Your baby may only nuzzle or lick at the breast but that is
okay, because your baby is learning.
Research shows that breastfeeding has many advantages. Breast milk is perfectly
matched to your baby's nutritional needs. And only breast milk contains
important antibodies that are important to your child's health.
Breast milk is more easily digested and filled with antibodies that protect
against infection. It's very convenient, economical and helps in shrinking
your uterus back to its normal size. And it contributes to a very special
relationship between you and baby.
We hope that you will at least give it a try. Even if you only breast feed
for six weeks, the benefits are still great.
Some mothers, however, are unable to breast feed. Maybe your milk supply
is not plentiful enough or your milk ducts are blocked. You should not
feel inadequate if breastfeeding does not work for you and your baby.
Breastfeeding Support and Resources
If you are considering breastfeeding, there are many resources and materials
available to help you. Southern Regional Medical Center offers breastfeeding
classes, as well as assistance through our Lactation Center. You can reach
our Lactation Center at (770)991-8014.
One of our certified lactation specialists will be glad to visit you in
the hospital, and is available for consultation once you go home. The
Center also rents and sells breast pumps, as well as other breastfeeding products.