Richmond Practice - Breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding
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Have you seen the World Health Organization's recommendations for breastfeeding?

"Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large.

Colostrum, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced at the end of pregnancy, is recommended by WHO as the perfect food for the newborn, and feeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth.

Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to six months of age, with continued breastfeeding, along with appropriate complementary foods, up to two years of age or beyond."

You should think about how you plan to feed your baby long before they are born. Most women in England choose to breastfeed nowadays.

Breastfeeding has many advantages. Besides the emotional benefit of creating a strong bond between mother and child, it protects your baby from infections and diseases. Breast milk is free, available anytime your baby needs a feed and is always at the right temperature.

Your baby will be alert and keen to feed soon after birth. If you need any help, your midwife will offer support with positioning and attachment. Your baby will be happier if you keep them near you and feed them whenever they are hungry. This will remind your body to produce plenty of milk. The more you breastfeed, the more milk you will produce. The time between feeds will vary, and you and your baby will settle into a pattern which may change from time to time. It's important to also breastfeed at night because this is when you produce more of the hormone prolactin, to increase your milk supply.

Babies normally have a sleep after being fed and will let you know when they are ready for the next feed. The signs include: starting to move as they wake up, moving their head around and/or sucking on something - usually their fingers.

Consult your doctor if:
  • you are very uncomfortable breastfeeding
  • you are sore
  • you experience problems in managing the practicalities of breastfeeding.
At Richmond Practice, our midwife, as well as our gynaecologists, can offer information and practical help with breastfeeding. Talk to our midwife about the information and support available in your area.

 
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