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You Should Also Know

You Should Also Know

Breast Size

The size of your breasts doesn't influence the amount of milk you have.

Breastfeeding in Public

In many countries, breastfeeding is a natural part of life. In North America, people are now more accepting of breastfeeding than was true in the past. My best advice is to gauge each situation separately. If you're comfortable nursing at a friend's house, go ahead. If you feel uncomfortable nursing in a public place, go into the ladies' room or a lounge, and feed your baby there. Look at each instance by itself— you'll soon learn how comfortable you feel feeding your baby away from home.

Establishing a Feeding Pattern

You may be unprepared at how often your baby will want (and need) to nurse in the first week after birth. You may wonder if it's worth it to continue. Relax and be patient. It takes time for your baby to establish his or her nursing pattern. By the end of the second week, a pattern will probably be established, and your baby will sleep longer between feedings.

Substituting Bottles for Breast

It's best to avoid bottles, if possible, for the first month of breastfeeding. This is for two reasons—your baby may come to prefer feeding from a bottle (it's not as hard to suck) and your breasts may not produce enough milk otherwise.

How Long to Breastfeed?

For various reasons, you may need to stop breastfeeding after a certain period. For example, you may be returning to work or school. You may wonder how long you need to breastfeed to do the most good for your baby.
Nursing the first 4 weeks of your baby's life provides the most protection for your baby and the most beneficial hormone release to help you recover after the birth. Nursing for the first 6 months is very beneficial for your baby—it provides excellent nutrition and protection against illness. After 6 months, the nutrition and protection aspects are not as critical for your baby. Even if you can nurse only a short period of time, stick with it as long as you can.

Breastfeeding after Returning to Work

It is possible to breastfeed after you go back to work or school. If you breastfeed exclusively, you'll need to pump your breasts or arrange to see your baby during the day. Or you can nurse your baby at home and provide formula for when you're away.
If you do not feel support from co-workers for your breastfeeding or pumping at work—either immediately or after some time has passed—you may have to talk to your employer and co-workers about the situation. You may need to work together toward a solution that is fair to everyone.
Business trips. If your job requires you to go on business trips, you probably will need to pump your breast milk while you are away. You may be uncomfortable if you don't because you will continue to produce milk. Take a breast pump with you and discard the breast milk after it is pumped.

Nursing Bras

Nursing bras are special bras worn for breastfeeding. They have cups that open so you can breastfeed without having to undress.
When to buy. Wait until at least the 36th week of your pregnancy to purchase one. If you buy one earlier than that, it probably won't fit later, when you need it.
Fit. Your breasts will become larger when your milk comes in, so buy a bra with at least a finger's width of space between any part of the cup and your breast. Be sure to make allowances for the room taken up by nursing pads. When trying on the bra, fasten the hooks at their loosest setting so you can tighten it as your ribcage shrinks, after your baby is born.

Clothes for Nursing

Nighties, shift dresses and full-cut blouses have been designed with discreet openings so you don't have to undress to breastfeed. You can reach inside your outer clothing, unhook your nursing bra and place your baby at your breast without anyone noticing. Draping a light towel or blanket over your shoulder and the baby's head adds further coverage.

Breast Surgeries

Ask your pediatrician for his or her advice if you want to breastfeed your baby and have had breast-enlargement surgery in the past. Many women who have had breast-enlargement surgery are able to breastfeed successfully. Some doctors have advised women not to breastfeed if they have had silicone implants.
If you have had your breasts reduced surgically, you should still be able to breastfeed. The surgery may result in decreased milk production, but usually there is enough.

How to Include Others in Feeding

Your partner can help by getting up at night and bringing the baby to you or by changing the baby. Your partner can also feed your baby expressed breast milk.
You can include your interested children in feeding the baby by letting them hold or burp the baby after she is fed. If you express your milk, a child could feed the baby a bottle of it at some feedings.

When Does Nursing Stop?

You can either taper off gradually or stop "cold turkey." Each way has its advantages. If you want to taper off gradually, start offering a bottle every other feeding or offer bottles during the day and nurse at night. If you stop cold turkey, you may have some sleepless nights with a screaming baby, and you may be quite uncomfortable physically with engorged breasts. However, this method takes less time.
The age for weaning a baby varies from woman to woman and baby to baby. Some women like to nurse until they return to work. Others nurse through the first year. It depends on your situation and your desire, and when your baby gets teeth!
Feeding Your Baby Articles:
Feeding Basics | Bottle feeding | Breastfeeding | How Breastfeeding Affects You | Milk Production, Expressing and Storage | Common Breastfeeding Problems | You Should Also Know
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