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Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding isn’t always straightforward, and that can make it seem overwhelming to many women. But with the right knowledge and support, successful breastfeeding is within reach for any mother who wishes to give her baby the best possible start in life.

The obstetricians at Maiden Lane Medical are on hand to support breastfeeding mothers. Contact our expert OB/GYN specialists for an appointment today. Our offices can be found in Brooklyn and Manhattan, NY.

A nursing mother after getting breastfeeding support from Maiden Lane Medical.

Nursing your infant has countless benefits—not only for them but also for you, both physically and emotionally. Whether you’re still on the fence about whether or not to breastfeed, recently delivered a little one, or are well into a journey of nursing, it’s important to understand what breastfeeding entails so as to remove barriers and optimize success.

Let us explore some important aspects of this very special relationship between mother and child!

What is Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is known as feeding your baby with your own breast milk. It can be done directly from the breast or the milk can be pumped beforehand and administered through a bottle.

Exclusive breastfeeding is widely recommended as the method of feeding your young one for the first 6 months of their life. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommend it. Even when you introduce solid food at 6 months, there are some benefits of continuing to breastfeed your child.

As your baby grows, the frequency of feeding is likely to change. Newborns tend to feed every 2-3 hours. When babies reach 2 months, they’ll often feed every 3-4 hours. Most babies feed every 4-5 hours by the time they reach 6 months. Each time you nurse, you should let the baby eat until they are satisfied.

The milk also changes too. The first milk to be produced is called colostrum. This is rich in nutrients. This milk is replaced after about 10-15 days with transitional milk. This mature breast milk looks thinner than colostrum but is still full of nutrients.

Each parent will decide whether breastfeeding is right for them and their baby. In order to help you make a good decision about breastfeeding, let’s consider the benefits for both baby and parent.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Baby

The following are some of the benefits breastfeeding will bring to your baby:

  • Best nutrition: Human milk has the perfect balance of protein, fats, and vitamins. Your baby will be able to digest it easier than infant formula.
  • Benefits their immune system: Human breast milk contains antibodies that can protect them against bacterial infections and viruses.
  • Higher IQ levels: Researchers have linked breastfeeding to higher IQ levels.
  • Improves bonding and their sense of security: Your baby will feel more secure and bond better with the physical contact of breastfeeding.
  • Prevents Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): According to the AAP, breastfeeding can help to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Prevents excessive weight gain: Breastfed infants are more likely to gain the proper amount of weight as they grow.
  • Lowers risk of certain health conditions: Breastfeeding is thought to lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, and some cancers. It may also reduce the risk of asthma and allergies from developing.

In addition, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea. They also have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Breastfeeding Mother

Breastfeeding can benefit the one feeding the baby too. The following are some of the benefits that you can get from breastfeeding your child:

  • Faster recovery from childbirth. Your body will be producing the hormone oxytocin if you are breastfeeding. This hormone helps your uterus return to its normal size. It also helps control the amount of vaginal bleeding after delivery.
  • Increasing bonding. It’s not just the babies that benefit from the physical contact of breastfeeding. Parents will bond better with their babies as well.
  • Convenience. Your breast milk goes where you go. There’s no need to bring bottles and formula when you go out.
  • More economical. Costs associated with breastfeeding may include nursing bras and creams to prevent sore nipples. These costs are minimal, though, in comparison to the continuing expenses for formula milk.
  • Long-term health benefits: Breastfeeding can lower the chances of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer. It can also lower the chances of getting osteoporosis and high blood pressure.

Tips for Breastfeeding Well

There are many things you can do as a parent to help with breastfeeding. Consider some of the top tips that can help:

  1. Go to a breastfeeding class: Learning how to feed your baby beforehand can help you to be more successful. 
  2. Get your supplies: Consider getting some nursing bras, breast pads, breast pumps, and a nursing pillow to help you along the way. Check out The Breastfeeding Shop for some great ideas!
  3. Let your healthcare provider know: They can help you get fully prepared and adjust any medication that you might be taking.
  4. Breastfeed soon after birth: Your baby will be ready to breastfeed within an hour after birth. It’s a good time for both of you to start learning how to do it. Also, the first milk has a lot of nutrients that your baby needs.
  5. Consider different ways to latch: You can guide your nipple to your baby’s mouth or let your baby find your breast on their own.
  6. Try different breastfeeding positions: There are at least 4 different positions that your baby can nurse. Trying different ways may help you to empty your milk supply.
  7. Breastfeed from both breasts equally: Feeding with both breasts can prevent swelling in one breast.
  8. Ease the pain of engorgement: It can be painful if your milk ducts become overfilled. Try feeding your baby when it’s hungry or use a breast pump to empty the milk.
  9. Prepare for low milk supply: There is a difference between “perceived low milk supply” and “true low milk supply.” For many reasons, some mothers believe they do not have enough milk to feed their babies.
  10. Ease nipple pain: Make sure your baby latches on properly, making sure the areola and nipple are in your baby’s mouth. You can also allow some milk to dry on your nipple to soothe the pain.
  11. Follow your baby’s cues when it comes to breastfeeding: When you hear your baby cry, it is often a sign that they are already hungry. It is better to look for early cues, such as putting their hands to their mouth. This will help reduce your baby’s stress.
  12. Consider using a breast pump: Breast pumps are a great way to store milk when you are away from your baby.

Online Breastfeeding Support

Online breastfeeding support is available for parents and parents-to-be anywhere, anytime with Nest Collaborative lactation consultants. Nest Collaborative Consultants are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) offering online, virtual breastfeeding consults from the comfort of your own home.

If you are having trouble breastfeeding, don’t fret about it. You are not alone and there is help available, right at your fingertips.

Have more questions?

Chat with us online! Use our webchat in the lower right hand of your screen

Prepare Now to Breastfeed

At Maiden Lane Medical, our obstetricians are ready to help you get prepared for breastfeeding. Book an appointment with us during your pregnancy so that when your baby arrives, you are ready to experience the benefits mentioned in this article. Our specialists can also help you with a postpartum follow-up visit.

We have multiple offices in the NYC area. Contact us today to schedule your visit!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Benefit from Breastfeeding Support?

You can benefit from breastfeeding support whether you are a first-time mom or have breastfed in the past. First-time moms usually have many questions and a lot to discover.

Receiving support can get them prepared before their child comes. Parents who already have children may need support if they have problems that didn’t appear the previous time(s).

How Common is it for Parents to Experience Breastfeeding Issues?

It is not uncommon for difficulties to arise during breastfeeding. At Maiden Lane Medical, our obstetricians are here to support you along the way. 

Are Breast Pumps Covered by Insurance?

Medical insurance usually covers breast pumps on sites, but this varies from plan to plan. Many of the shops can provide guidance to help you navigate through what is covered.

Medically Reviewed By

Jennifer Zocca, MD
Dual Board Certified Pain Medicine Physician & Anesthesiologist Medical Director

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