18 January 2011 | The Portland Hospital
The Portland Hospital fully support mothers whether they choose to breastfeed their baby or formula bottle feed, the hospital is very much pro-patient choice. If you are considering breastfeeding then read on here for some useful tips…
Breastfeeding is the most wonderful way to continue the good work mothers-to-be have done nourishing their baby during their pregnancy, providing both mother and baby with unquestioned research proven health benefits such as reduced risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer for the mother and reduced obesity and admission to hospital for the baby.
The Portland Hospital strongly recommend expectant mothers attend a breastfeeding class in pregnancy to gain as much information as they can before having their baby. Breastfeeding classes are normally covered as part of antenatal classes which include useful information to help new mothers to successfully breastfeed their baby including various breastfeeding positions. Here are some important tips for expectant mothers wanting to breastfeed their baby…
Breastfeeding can be hard to get the hang of at the beginning and getting the latch right is very important. We recommend getting a good asymmetrical latch so the tongue rubs breast tissue not the nipple, thus reducing nipple trauma. You achieve this by rubbing the baby’s top lip against the nipple, waiting for a chin lift and a huge gap then moving the baby quickly to the breast aiming the nipple to the top of the baby’s mouth (by the imaginary front teeth!). Then focusing on listening for swallows to ensure your baby is getting milk rather than just comfort sucking.
Prolactin is the hormone that produces breast milk. Prolactin receptors are laid down in the breast in the first 48 hours after birth and influence the success of supply, so demand feeding in this time is very important.
The baby’s stomach is the size of a marble and the first feeds are approximately 5mls (one teaspoon). The baby should be offered both breasts to gain enough colostrum until the milk comes in. This usually happens on day 3 or 4, when the baby should then be fed on one breast per feed to ensure the baby gets the fat rich hind milk.
Regular milk removal ensures the breast drains well which reduces the risk of engorgement and mastitis, which also relieves any pain or discomfort in the breast. It also ensures an adequate supply for the rest of the breastfeeding period.
When the supply settles after another few days we recommend that the baby continues to be fed predominately on one breast per feed, but may need a little from the second breast to complete the feed. You should aim to alternative which breast you start on.
It is important to get help as early as possible if your nipples are sore, the baby is unsettled or if the baby is not gaining weight to help fix the problem so you can continue to enjoy your breastfeeding experience. Some useful contacts include:
National Breastfeeding Helpline
0300 100 0212
Lactation Midwife at The Portland Hospital
Tel: 0207 580 4400 (Bleep 76)
Appointments: 0207 390 8139
Off to the Best Start Guide – Important Information about feeding your Baby (NHS)