8 THOUGHTFUL REMINDERS GET LOTS OF REST Be as good to yourself as you can. Try to nap when baby naps. Accept help with housework and meals from your partner, family and friends. Do only what housekeeping must be done. Limit your visitors. Go to bed early. EAT WELL The foods you choose are important when you are breastfeeding, to ensure good health for you and your baby. Follow Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating for basic nutrition and drink extra fluids to keep your milk supply adequate. The only foods you must avoid are those to which you might be allergic. Nursing mothers are discouraged from going on weight loss diets as they may cause the milk supply to decrease. While nursing, you may gradually lose weight, and the extra weight gained during pregnancy is used to provide part of the energy needed to make breast milk. HAVE PLENTY TO DRINK You’ll find you are extra thirsty, so have a glass of juice, milk or water every time the baby nurses. Remember if you smoke or drink alcohol: tobacco, alcohol and other drugs can pass into your breast milk and may harm your baby. BE COMFORTABLE Relax in the bathtub. It’s good therapy. Walk. Gradually resume some exercise. Plan an evening out regularly. Motherhood and fatherhood are new roles that need to be talked over and learned together. Keep the lines of communication open! 9 TALK TO OTHERS 1O P ersonal contact with other nursing mothers is important for confident breastfeeding. Don’t keep concerns to yourself. Call a friend, La Leche League, the public health nurse, a lactation consultant or your doctor or midwife. It helps to talk to someone. ENJOY YOUR BABY! H olding your baby close stimulates her senses of touch, smell and taste. A baby who is smiled at, talked to and cuddled develops a sense of security. Breastfeeding is more than simply providing nutrients and calories for physical growth – it contributes to a special closeness. So have confidence in nature and in yourself and give your little one the very best start in life! Our mission is to help the people of Canada maintain and improve their health. Health Canada Health Canada Santé Canada Published by authority of the Minister of Health For additional copies, please contact: Publications Health Canada Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9 Tel: (613) 954-5995 Fax: (613) 941-5366 Également disponible en français sous le titre 10 précieux conseils pour allaiter avec succès This publication is also available on Internet at the following address: http:/www.hc-sc.gc.ca It can be made available in/on computer diskette/large print/audiocassette/braille upon request. © Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1991 Cat. H39-204/1993E ISBN 0-661-20998-2 Revised 1998 1VALUABLE O TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL BREASTFEEDING TODAY, THREE TIMES MORE WOMEN ARE BREASTFEEDING THEIR BABIES THAN 20 YEARS AGO. 1 AN EARLY START IS THE BEST START HOW OFTEN? Breastfed babies prefer a span of two to three hours from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next. Mother’s milk is digested more easily than formula. You don’t need to give any kind of supplement – not even water. With frequent nursing, your baby will get enough nourishment. The usual pattern is this: nurse the baby on one side; then, after time out for a burp or diaper change, switch to the other side. At the next feeding, reverse the order, offering her the last used side first. Some babies prefer several “short courses,” others prefer one long feeding. Don’t rush her – take your time. B reastfeed your baby as soon as possible after birth. Babies are often more alert and interested in feeding in the first hour following birth than later that day. Use the help of experienced nursing staff. Relax – you’re both learning! So feed often on request; perhaps every two to three hours during the day and when baby wakes at night. Have your baby room-in with you in the hospital. ❀ As soon as you are able to, sit to feed your baby, support your back and put a pillow on your knees for everybody’s comfort. Bring your baby to your breast rather than your breast to your baby. ❀ Hold the baby close to your body, skin to skin, tummy to tummy, face to breast, mouth to nipple. ❀ Support your breast by holding four fingers underneath, away from the areola (dark area), with your thumb on top. ❀ Stimulate baby’s lips gently with your nipple until her* mouth opens as big as a yawn. Arouse your baby’s senses of taste and smell by expressing a few drops of milk. ❀ When her mouth is open wide, pull baby towards you quickly; when the baby feels your nipple with her tongue, her lips will close over the areola and seal it; both lips should be rolled outwards. You should see the sucking motion along the jaw line. ❀ To release the baby’s suction, gently place a finger in the corner of her mouth until you break the suction. STARTED 2 GETTING WHAT HAPPENS? At baby’s birth your first milk is colostrum, a yellowish fluid rich in vitamins, protein and immune factors. Breastfeeding often on cue will help the milk come in gradually and the quantity to increase. As the colostrum decreases, mother’s milk may look thinner and watery, but it is your baby’s perfect miracle fast food. Usually, the milk will be “let-down” and fill your breasts when the baby starts to suck. You may feel the tingling sensation of your milk letting down. But sometimes it happens earlier, spontaneously or in response to a baby’s cry, and the breasts fill up and leak. If your breasts should leak, tuck breast pads in your bra to absorb the extra milk. HOW TO HOLD YOUR BABY There are many breastfeeding positions; discover the one that is most comfortable for you and your baby. Sit up as soon as possible. If you have had a Caesarian birth, you may need help to position yourself and your baby comfortably. Get help from nurses, your doctor, midwife, or a lactation consultant. * The use of “she/her” also includes “him/he.” 5 LOOKING AFTER MOM,TOO 6 WORKING AND BREASTFEEDING 7 BREASTFEEDING AND PREGNANCY HOW MUCH? A breastfed baby needs frequent feedings. Allowing your infant to nurse at need (ranging from eight to 12 times in a 24-hour period), will help establish your milk supply. Wake a sleepy baby during the daytime to feed her, especially if she sleeps for long stretches at night. Your baby is likely getting enough when she has six or more wet diapers a day, has frequent bowel movements, and is gaining weight and growing longer. 3 REMEMBER, IT’S THE LAW OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND! 4 THE COMPLETE FOOD T he more your baby nurses, the more milk you produce. As your baby gets older, she may nurse every three to four hours and be content. Your baby may have growth spurts in the first few months. Often they are around three weeks, six weeks, three months and six months. Frequent feedings, perhaps every one to two hours for a few days, will help increase your milk supply and satisfy her increased appetite. Remember that your baby’s nutritional needs can be completely met by your milk supply without added supplementary feedings. B reast milk is the most balanced food you can offer your infant! It has just the right level and quality of nutrients to suit your child’s first food needs. It contains antibodies that reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions. Breastfeeding aids the return of the uterus to normal size, allows mom and baby to begin a special relationship, and is convenient and economical. With breastfeeding, there is no need to sterilize or warm bottles, nor are there any bottles to take when you leave home with your child. The process is simple, natural, free and safer for the environment! I n the early days, your nipples may be tender. Because this part of the body is not usually exposed, nipples need lots of air and light to toughen. For the first few days, expose your nipples to air or light after each feeding. Allow some breast milk to dry on your nipples; it has lubricating and anti-infective properties. Change nursing pads when they are wet. Sometimes breasts get swollen and hurt because of increased blood supply and the accumulation of milk. This condition is called “engorged breasts.” Wearing a well-fitting bra, applying warmth using warm towels or taking warm showers to ease the milk flow, expressing some milk before feeding to relieve fullness, and nursing frequently to allow your breasts to empty will help. Proper positioning of baby on the breast is also very important. Ask for help from the nurses to learn comfortable positions for you and your baby. When your milk supply is established, you may learn to express or pump milk so that it can be left with a caregiver to give to the baby, and then you can get out occasionally or just have a well-deserved break. I t is important to understand that the first weeks are the learning period for both of you, and that time, patience and humour will solve many difficulties. During this time, your milk supply is becoming established, so it’s difficult to have anyone but you feed the baby. After that, you can express milk manually or mechanically by using a breast pump before you go to work or to school, for feedings throughout the day. Your own breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator (for up to 48 hours) or frozen. Refrigerate or freeze breast milk in plastic bottles or bags and date them. Then warm it up in hot tap water before it is used. (Using a microwave oven is not recommended.) D on’t rely on the old myth that you won’t get pregnant because you are nursing! It’s not always true. It may postpone the return of ovulation and menstruation, but ovulation can occur, so you and your partner should use precautions! Discuss birth control alternatives with your doctor.
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