Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Breastfeeding Advice 101

As a new doula, I have had a hard time figuring out what to tell new moms immediately postpartum about breastfeeding. What one bit of advice can I tell them to help them out the most? Other than physically helping her with positioning the baby and identifying when the baby is drinking, what can I leave her with that is important to know immediately postpartum?
Here are a few of the most useful bits of advice I can think of for a new mom that will help immensely with breastfeeding:

1. Surround yourself with supportive people. Make sure everyone you encounter encourages your breastfeeding efforts. It can be emotionally and physically rough. You will need every single kind word and reassuring statement from your husband, mother, sister, friend, etc that you can get.

2. Find a lactation consultant. Nursing shouldn't hurt, and if it does, get help with your baby's latch. An LC can answer your questions and help you in ways that your pediatrician who isn't trained in breastfeeding or even your friend who has breastfed before cannot. The best breastfeeding books, while informative, will also often refer you to an LC for help identifying problems.

3. Nurse on Demand. Follow your baby's cues, not the clock, and make sure you're both comfortable. Learn to nurse lying down so you can get lots of rest. The more you nurse, the more milk you'll make. Don't try to be superwoman right after you give birth - someone else can take care of the laundry and cooking!

Anything else you can think of to add? What helped you the most when you were new to breastfeeding?


  1. What I found important is to let mothers know that many babies are sensitive to when mothers drink cows milk. If this causes gas or a rash, then cut out the dairy. Breast milk DOES not have lactose naturally. It is in the milk because the mother is eating lactose herself.

    My son is allergic to whey, lactose and lactate so I was told to stop breastfeeding because my milk produces all of that. Such bullshit. I did alot of research and talked to alot of people. Human milk does not make cow milk proteins.

    Michelle Duggar was just recently told to stop breastfeeding because Josie (her premie) was allergic to the lactose in the mothers milk. WTF. DR's piss me off!


  2. Actually, that's false. Human breastmilk does in fact have lactose. Lactose, a type of sugar, is the main component of any milk. It has the same molecular formula in humans as it does in cows, it's just that different breasts are producing it. Cow lactose, that the mother ingests from drinking cow's milk, cannot possibly pass into the breastmilk, because unless the mother is lactose intolerant herself, the lactose is all broken down into monosaccharides in her digestive system.

    Babies CAN be allergic to cow's milk PROTEINS, which is a separate issue that can be caused by drinking cow's milk; but more commonly, they may just be getting an overload of lactose from hindmilk, which can be solved by nursing the baby with one breast for longer periods of time, not by cutting cow's milk from one's diet. Your son may in fact be one of 30,000 US babies that is genetically intolerant of lactose, but then, he would be much worse off than being gassy/having a rash. and contain some useful information.

  3. Those are great resource links, Ren, thanks! :)


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