The first thing we want to say is that mothers who can't breastfeed for whatever reason really should not feel guilty, or be made to feel guilty by breastfeeding mothers or lactivists. Breastfeeding complications do crop up, and while they can often be overcome, that is not always the case and if you decide to formula feed, your baby will do just fine on formula as well. What helps establishing breastfeeding in the newborn stage, and what do you need to know?
- Breastfeed your baby as soon after giving birth as you can. Some babies will nurse immediately, while others need a bit longer. Colostrum, your first milk, is very important and nutritious. And immediate nursing encourages a smooth breastfeeding journey later on.
- Nurse your baby on demand, whenever he or she seems to need it. Breastfeeding works on the "supply and demand" principle, so your body will produce just enough milk for your baby's needs (normally) and the make up of your breast milk is also unique for your baby's needs!
- Make use of the lactation consultants in your hospital while you are there, if they are present. They can help you identify any problems or just say you are doing great. A lactation consultant may be very expensive if you have to pay for one privately.
- If you are going to pump, because you are returning to work, for instance, you may like to read our best tips for better pumping.