Breastfeeding Checklist If you can answer “yes” to each of these questions when your baby is 1 week old, then you know breastfeeding is going well. If you answer “no” to any of these questions, call your baby’s doctor, a breastfeeding consultant or a lactation support group. Getting help early is best for successful, enjoyable breastfeeding.
Are you enjoying breastfeeding your baby? Is your baby getting only breast milk? (no formula or water) Does your baby breastfeed at least 8 times each 24 hours?
Does your baby finish the first breast before you offer the other side? Is your baby happy or sleepy after breastfeeding? (not needing a pacifier) Are your breasts and nipples comfortable? If you have sore nipples contact your provider or a lactation consultant. Are you able to rest or nap during the day when your baby sleeps? Does your baby have at least 6 very wet diapers each day?
Does your baby have at least 4 yellow bowel movements each day?
Artificial Baby Milk (Formula) and Artificial Nipples One of the main reasons parents want to give formula to their breastfeeding baby is because they think they do not have enough milk, when they really do. This is a common thought especially when babies are cluster feeding. However, there is a risk of shortening the breastfeeding relationship, and also health risks, with the use of formula. If you feel that your baby needs to be supplemented with formula, contact your lactation consultant first. They can guide you and help you meet your breastfeeding goals. There may be the option to express your milk for your baby. If there is a medical reason that you need to supplement, you may be able to contact a Human Milk Bank to obtain donor milk. (www.hmbana.org) Look at your individual circumstance and make an informed decision about formula supplementation as you weigh the benefits and risks. Risks: If you have any concerns about how your breastfeeding experience is going, please call your lactation support office staff at the hospital where you delivered or contact one of the community support groups. Additional information is available online at: • www.lalecheleague.org • www.breastfeedingonline.com • www.womenshealth.gov • www.breastmilkcounts.com
• Your baby may refuse your breast or have trouble latching on to your breast after being fed with an artificial nipple. • Your breasts may become painfully swollen, causing breastfeeding problems, if they are not emptied regularly by breastfeeding or pumping. • Your baby may learn to suck differently on an artificial nipple, which may cause your nipples to become sore. • There can be a delay in your milk supply increasing if the breast is not being stimulated.
• You may have trouble making a full milk supply if your breasts are not fully emptied. • Starting artificial nipples earlier than 4 weeks may result in breastfeeding problems, causing you to stop nursing sooner than you planned. • Formula can decrease the healthy bacteria in the baby’s intestines that protect against infection. It can also introduce foreign proteins which can cause allergies.
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