Breastfeeding Your Baby

Early Skin-To-Skin Contact

Successful breastfeeding starts with making sure you maintain uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with your baby. Immediate skin-to-skin contact will:

  • Keep your baby warm 
  • Help control baby’s breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar
  • Keep mom and baby calm
  • Help get breastfeeding off to a good start
  • Support bonding with your baby

Rooming with Baby 

Parents and babies need as much time together as possible in the early days so they can all adjust to life outside the womb. Pediatricians recommend that mothers and babies sleep in the same room — near each other but not in the same bed.

What are the benefits of rooming together on a 24-hour basis?

  • You make more milk faster
  • Babies cry less, and parents and babies get more rest
  • You can feed your baby on demand
  • You learn how to care for your baby
  • Your baby recognizes you
  • You recognize baby’s feeding cues and need to be snuggled
  • Babies gain more weight, quicker

How Often Should You Breastfeed?

Many healthy babies are ready to breastfeed within the first hour of life, regardless of delivery method. During the first few days of life, your baby should feed at least 8–12 times in order to establish a milk supply. These feedings don’t need to be evenly spaced—just keep track of how many times baby has fed within a 24-hour period. 

Making breastmilk is a demand-and-supply process. If you cannot feed as frequently as you need to in the early days, hand expression and a breast pump will help build and maintain your milk supply. Ask your nurse for more information or call the Breastfeeding Education Center at 321.843.2229.

Baby-led Feeding

Feed your baby whenever your baby shows signs of hunger. This helps: 

  • Baby be settled and content
  • Prevent breastfeeding complications
  • Establish a good milk supply
  • Provide baby the perfect amount to eat

Hunger Cues

Learning your baby’s hunger cues will help you know when he/she is ready to feed. Here are some movements your baby may make to indicate hunger:

  • Reaching for the breast while skin-to-skin and chest-to-chest
  • Bringing hand to mouth
  • Squirming and wiggling
  • Crying is a late sign that your baby is very hungry. When your baby cries, place baby skin-to-skin to calm him/her. You can also try soothing your baby by rocking him/her before offering the breast.

Signs of Successful Breastfeeding:

  • No to minimal discomfort while baby is on breast
  • Baby breastfeeds with a steady sucking and swallowing
  • Your breasts soften during a feed
  • Baby is content after feeding
  • Baby has adequate pees and poops that change from dark greenish black to seedy yellow