Personal Health Division

WIC - Techniques of Breastfeeding

What to do in the hospital:

  • Nurse within the first hour after delivery.
  • Keep baby in your room to allow for frequent nursing.
  • Take time to position yourself correctly. Sit in a chair if possible. A pillow on the lap or on your side may be helpful.
  • Put baby to breast at least every 2-3 hours to help your body produce milk.
  • Keep of a record of baby's wet and stool diapers.
  • Avoid formula, water, bottle nipples and pacifiers and allow baby to get comfortable with feeding from the breast.
  • Breastfeeding should not hurt- if it does, a lactation specialist can adjust the baby so that the baby will latch onto the breast correctly so there will be no pain.

What to expect in the 1st week:

  • Sitting in a chair or couch with arms makes latch on and correct positioning easier.
  • Every baby is different, but most will nurse at least every 1-3 hours.
  • Wake baby to nurse if it's been longer than 3 hours during day and 4 hours at night.
  • You should hear baby swallow during a feeding. Feedings can last 15-45 minutes.
  • Baby should end the feeding by letting go. If not, insert a finger to break the suction.
  • You should notice more wet diapers and stools as your milk supply increases.
  • Stools become bright yellow and liquid. This is normal and not diarrhea. Please ask WIC staff if you would like a handout of pictures of normal baby's stools.
  • Some weight loss in the first week is normal. The doctor's office or WIC office can do a weight check for your baby within the first week.

How to tell if baby is getting enough to eat:

Day Nursings Wet Diapers Stools
One 6-8 1 or more 1 or more
Two 6-8 2 or more 2 or more
Three 8-12 3 or more 2 or more
Four 8-12 4 or more 3 or more
Five 8-12 5 or more 3 or more
Six 8-12 6 or more 4 or more
Seven 8-12 6-8 or more 4 or more

Taking Care of Mom

  • Rest or sleep when baby sleeps.
  • Have something to drink when sitting down to nurse and remember to eat.
  • If the nipples become sore: Apply a warm wet cloth after nursing. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or lanolin.
  • If engorgement happens (full hard breasts): Cover the breasts with an ice pack. If ice doesn't help, wrap the breasts in warm, wet towels or take a hot shower. Hand express or massage the breast to soften the breast enough for the baby to latch on.
  • Manual hand expression of milk can also help when you are separated from the baby or if the baby has trouble latching. Jane Morton, MD developed a video in collaboration with Stanford School of Medicine in 2009 that shows manually hand expression. To see video, visit this website.

 


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