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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Five Steps to Breast-Feeding Success

Apr 28, 2015 02:40PM

Linda LeMon, certified lactation consultant, with new moms at the NewYork-Presbyterian/ Hudson Valley Hospital's breastfeeding support group

Breast-feeding is the best for mom and baby, but sometimes getting started requires a little patience, says Linda LeMon, lactation consultant at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital, who runs a support group for new moms.

Planning is the key to reducing frustration when things don’t work out immediately, she says. “It’s a myth that breast-feeding just happens. Just like anything else, it takes some education and some practice.’’

LeMon shares these tips for moms-to-be:

Don’t delay. Prepare ahead of time: buy a good breast-feeding book and create a “nursing station”—an area with a comfortable chair, a breast-feeding pillow, and a side table for snacks, water, nursing pads, etc.

Find a mentor. Before you give birth, call a relative or friend who has breast-fed successfully and ask if she’ll be available to help.

Pay attention to your diet. You’ll need even more calories when breast-feeding than while pregnant. But don’t go overboard; three balanced meals a day plus healthful snacks should cover it.

Don’t give in to fear. Many women who stop breast-feeding do so because they think they aren’t producing enough milk. If your baby nurses eight to 12 times every 24 hours, has six or more wet diapers, and three or more bowel movements daily by day six, he or she is getting plenty to eat. Still feeling concerned? Talk to your pediatrician. 

Get support. Join a breast-feeding support group. NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital offers one on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

For more info, visit NYP.org/hudsonvalley or call 914.734.3257.