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How to Successfully Breastfeed

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Meet your breastfeeding goals with these expert tips.
Air Date: 1/31/17
Duration: 22:51
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Jenny Thomas, MD
Dr. Jenny ThomasDr. Jenny Thomas is a pediatrician and breastfeeding medicine specialist at Aurora Healthcare in Franklin, Wisconsin and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Community and Family Medicine and Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). She received her MD from MCW in 1993, and her MPH in 2011. She has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) since 2003. Dr. Thomas is now serving on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Breastfeeding Executive Board after spending several years as the Chief of the Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinators. She also serves on the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Chapter of the AAP, and is a founder and the immediate-past Chairperson of the Wisconsin Breastfeeding Coalition. She has received national awards for teaching,  advocacy for children, and innovation with in her practice and community. Dr. Thomas is one of only a few physicians internationally to be recognized as a Fellow of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (FABM) for her expertise on breastfeeding. Dr. Thomas' interests and research have focused on issues related to the use of social media to support breastfeeding mothers.
How to Successfully Breastfeed
Breastfeeding is natural, but it isn’t always easy.

Before baby comes, you need to learn what to expect. It’s hard to know what’s normal and what’s not when you’re a first-time mom. Most hospitals advise taking a breastfeeding class, and you can always ask your obstetrician for advice.

Many mothers are returning to work after the baby comes, which can make breastfeeding problematic. However, insurance companies are now paying for breast pumps to make it easier on working moms.

It’s ideal for your newborn to nurse shortly after birth. The skin-to-skin contact will warm your baby and the milk. Babies naturally want to latch onto the nipple. The golden hour immediately after birth is the perfect time to initiate the first feeding, giving uninterrupted contact between mom and baby as nature takes its course. Many tests and injections can be done as baby rests on mom’s chest. The other post-birth measurements and procedures can take place outside of that golden hour.

Common breastfeeding issues include size differences between the breast and the baby’s mouth, medicated delivery that confuses baby and other reasons.

Keeping mom comfortable can help with breastfeeding success. Mom laying back at a 45-degree angle can make it easier on baby. The secretions from mom’s breast is unique to that mother and draws the baby to the breast. Find the position where mom isn’t in pain while feeding. Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.

How do you know your baby is getting enough milk? Poop. Poop is the sure sign that baby is experiencing correct digestion of enough food.

Breastfeeding is becoming more normal in the United States. It’s important to have a support system. If your family and friends aren’t cheerleaders for your decision, speak with your pediatrician and find a support group.

Dads can get involved by being supportive of breastfeeding. Providing skin-to-skin contact when baby doesn’t need to eat is the perfect job for dads.

If you are a working mother, find out if anyone at your office has successfully breastfed. She’s your best source of information. There must be a non-bathroom place for a mother to pump. Try returning to work on a Thursday or Friday so you have the weekend to recover.

Eat foods that you like and want your child to like. The foods you eat flavors the breast milk. Those flavors make your child more likely to enjoy your culture’s cuisine. Limit caffeine intake. The level of alcohol in breast milk is the same as your blood alcohol level at any given time.

Nursing your baby for at least a year is noteworthy in the United States. You can breastfeed your child as long as the baby wants the milk. It’s usually a mutual decision between mom and baby to move onto solid foods.

Listen in as Dr. Jenny Thomas shares what you need to know about breastfeeding.

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