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Your Breasts are Getting Ready to Produce Milk.

Your breasts are becoming fuller and are getting ready to make colostrum. Colostrum is also called “Liquid Gold.” It is the first milk that your baby will receive and is high in protein, antibodies, vitamins
and minerals. The antibodies provide protection for the baby from bacterial and viral illnesses.

Exclusive Breastfeeding. You Can Do This!

“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with the continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.” (AAP 2012)

Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. It provides a wide variety of benefits to mom and baby.

Breastfeeding should be comfortable. We provide lactation support, both inpatient and outpatient, to assist with your goal of exclusive breastfeeding.

You can continue to breastfeed after going back to work. Insurance companies provide breast pumps free of charge.

Plan to exclusively breastfeed. Feeding your baby with only breastmilk is extremely important for establishing a good milk supply.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

According to a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, the United States would save about $13 billion per year in medical costs if 90 percent of U.S. families breastfed their newborns for at least six months.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby
  • Less diarrhea, allergies, ear and respiratory infections
  • Lower risk of asthma
  • Lower risk of childhood cancer
  • Lower risk of diabetes
  • Lower risk of obesity
  • Bonding time with mommy, receives skin-to-skin, eye and voice contact
  • Easily digested
  • Perfectly matched nutrition
  • Lower risk of incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Protects against many viral and bacterial infections
  • Decrease risk of childhood cancers
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom
  • Less risk of breast, uterine, endometrial and ovarian cancer
  • Less risk of diabetes
  • Faster weight loss after pregnancy (breastfeeding burns up to 500 calories a day)
  • Less bleeding after delivery/better healing post-delivery. Helps uterus return to normal size faster
  • Less time off work (fewer days infant will be sick)
  • Less risk of osteoporosis/stronger bones
  • Breastfeeding is cheap (Average cost of formula per month $300) – convenient and economical
  • Pride in giving her baby the best nutrition
  • A beautiful and intimate way for mom to bond
  • May reduce risk of heart disease


Breastfeeding: Skin-to-Skin

Early Skin-To-Skin Contact, Early Initiation Of Breastfeeding

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the start of breastfeeding is when the baby is kept skin-to-skin with the mother immediately after birth and until the first breastfeeding. The baby’s sense of smell allows him/her to find the breast to begin the initial breastfeeding. Research shows that infants that are skin-to-skin with their mothers, breastfeed better, sooner and are more likely to exclusively breastfeed.

Skin-to-Skin and Rooming In

Mothers will be encouraged to remain with their infant throughout their hospital stay: It is what the baby wants and needs.

All routine newborn procedures will be performed at the mother’s bedside including pediatrician daily visits, lab work, hearing screen, newborn screen and lactation consultations.

Benefits of rooming in:

  • Baby and mother sleep better
  • Babies cry less (They love to be near you)
  • Decreases infant stress
  • Helps establish and maintain breastfeeding
  • Mother learns infant cues and behavior patterns and increases confidence in caring for the baby
  • Best thing to start bonding with your baby, the beginning of a close relationship
  • Less "baby blues” and postpartum depression
  • Baby will have more stable body temperatures and blood sugars
  • Breastfeed sooner, longer and more easily


Breastfeeding: Knowledge is Power

Breastfeeding Basic classes are offered at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center:

Achieve the confidence you need to make breastfeeding a satisfying experience for you and your baby. The class covers the basics: positioning, feeding techniques and corrective actions for breastfeeding challenges. Dads, coaches and/or support persons are encouraged to come.

Saddleback Medical Center offers a variety of different childbirth education classes including Breastfeeding Basics.

Lactation Support:

During your hospital stay, we have lactation support to assist you with getting off to a great start. We also provide outpatient support.

What to Expect the First Few Days of Breastfeeding

Tips for Successful Breastfeeding

  • Cluster feeding is very common in newborns
  • Nursing on baby’s cue stimulates your breasts to produce plenty of milk
  • Nurse until baby shows signs of being full
    -Pulling off the breast
    -Sucking less often
    -Becomes sleepy and relaxes body
    -Opens his fist
    -Relaxes the forehead
  • Begin nursing when baby exhibits feeding cues
    -Sucking on tongue or lips during sleep
    -Sucking on fingers
    -Moving arms and hands toward mouth
    -Fussing or fidgeting while sleeping
    -Turning head from side to side
    -Mouth opening

Ways to Help Achieve Optimal Milk Production

  • Breastfeeding your baby as soon as possible after birth
  • Keeping up with cluster feeds
    -Baby will nurse at least 8-10 times in 24 hours, but the first 48 hours may be even more frequent
  • Pumping after feeds if baby is unable to empty both breasts on his own (Consult with lactation consultant)
  • Avoid any supplementation of formula unless medically indicated by a physician
  • Nurse frequently and offer both breasts during each feeding
    -Always begin the next feeding with the breast you finished the last feeding on
  • Allow your baby to determine the frequency and duration of breastfeeding sessions
  • Nursing on baby’s cue stimulates your breasts to produce plenty of milk
  • Avoid becoming engorged due to lack of breastfeeding
    -If baby refuses to eat or you have to skip a feeding, pump or manually express your milk

The Importance of Continuing to Breastfeed after 6 Months

It is recommended to begin introducing solid food into your baby’s diet around 6 months. This introduction is not meant to be a replacement for breastmilk, but instead a substitution for some meals. Introducing solid foods too early can cause problems if it replaces the nutrient-filled breastmilk that your baby needs.

Benefits for your baby:

  • During this time, your baby is exposed to more bacteria and pathogens. The antibodies contained in breastmilk can help to protect your baby from any illnesses they may encounter
  • By continuing to breastfeed, your baby will have a lower risk for serious illnesses later on in life such as diabetes, asthma and obesity
  • As long as you are breastfeeding, your baby has protection against common childhood illnesses such as ear infections and the common cold

Benefits for mom:

  • Breastfeeding burns up to 500 calories a day
  • Breastfeeding is still the easiest and most convenient way to feed your baby
  • Feedings become quicker and less frequent
  • It enhances the bond between you and your baby

Effective Breastfeeding Positioning

Positioning Tips:

  • Sit or lie down comfortably with your back supported
  • Make sure your baby has one arm on either side of your breast, as you pull the baby close
  • Support the baby’s back and shoulders firmly. Do not push on the back of the baby’s head.
  • Baby’s ear, shoulder and hip are in a straight line and baby’s body is facing you
  • You and your baby should be in a comfortable position
  • You may find it helpful to use some pillows to support your arm
  • Hold your breast with your thumb on top of your breast and fingers below, well away from the areola
  • Pointing the nipple upward, tickle baby’s upper lip until he opens his mouth wide
  • Be patient, sometimes this takes a minute or two
  • Baby’s head is slightly tilted back
  • Baby’s chin should approach the breast first
  • Lower lip should be positioned further from the nipple than the top lip
  • When the baby opens wide, quickly and gently pull him toward your breast
  • Good latch-on is a learned response. Be patient with yourself and your baby

Common Breastfeeding Positions:

  • Football
  • Lying down
  • Cradling
  • Across the lap
  • Cross cradling

Signs of a Good Latch:

  • Baby sucks actively at the breast
  • Mouth is open wide
  • Lips are flanged or turned outward
  • You may hear swallowing
  • Baby’s chin is touching your breast (nose may also be touching)
  • You should feel a tugging at the breast but no “toe-curling” pain after the first few sucks – absence of pinching or biting pain
  • All the nipple and as much of the areola as possible in baby’s mouth
  • Tongue over lower gum
  • Baby stays on breast
  • Cheeks are rounded

The Myths of Breastfeeding

myths of breastfeeding


Common Misconceptions and Concerns

Once you go back to work, you will have to wean. This is not true. If you commit to pumping, you can give your baby breastmilk as long as you wish. You should pump at least three times a day while at work. Be sure to get a breast pump through your insurance company.

If you have small breasts, you will not produce enough milk. Size does not matter. The breast tissue grows in response to pregnancy and are capable of producing enough milk for your baby.

A breastfed baby will not sleep through the night until she/he starts eating solid food. Your baby will sleep through the night when he/she is ready.

Breastfeeding will hurt. The initial soreness (not pain) will improve 2 to 4 days after delivery. Frequent breastfeeding position changes initially will also help. If you experience pain, seek advice from a lactation consultant.

I am going to have a c-section, so it will be too hard. Your nurse can help you find comfortable breastfeeding positions for you to help keep the baby off your incision.

Nobody in my family breastfed. In the past many women did not know all of the benefits of breastfeeding. Now we know how important it is to breastfeed.

My breast will sag. Pregnancy causes changes in your breast, not breastfeeding. Wear a supportive bra.

I don’t have enough milk. After the initial normal weight loss in the first week, your baby will gain back their birth weight by 2 weeks. If you are concerned, take your baby for a weight check up at the outpatient lactation clinic or pediatrician’s office.

One way to tell if your baby is feeding well is the amount of wet and stools they have within the first 3-7 days.

Day 1: 1 wet diaper and 1 stool diaper

Day 2: 2 wet diapers, 2 stool diapers

Day 4: 4 wet and 3- 4 stool

Day 7: 6-10 wet diapers, 3-12 stool diapers

Between 72-96 hours after birth, you should feel breast fullness and hear frequent swallowing while your infant feeds.

Breastfeeding: Non-Pharmacological Pain Relief Methods for Labor

  • Relaxation
  • Focus and distraction – focal point
  • Cleansing breath
  • Rhythmical breathing techniques
  • Touch and massage
  • Counter pressure
  • Changing positions – hands and knees, standing, rocking, swaying, walking
  • Warm water – showers, jacuzzis (as long as your water has not broke)
  • Double hip squeeze
  • Birthing ball
  • Aromatherapy
  • Music therapy