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(Information courtesy of Dr S.L. Koe, Paediatrician & Lactation Consultant. Tel. no. : 03-798 30539)

3 Steps to Breastfeeding

Dear Parents,

The information given here will help the mother to breastfeed successfully. The supportive role of the father is of utmost importance. The mother needs support and encouragement from him and grandmothers to build up the confidence that she has enough milk. Having enough information prevents breastfeeding problems and crises and provides the solutions to these should they arise. The baby can be breastfed completely for 6 months, thereafter solids are given together with breastfeeding to 2 years and beyond.

The Art of Successful Breastfeeding


Successful Breastfeeding depends on

  1. Having enough information on normal breastfeeding
  2. Having support from knowledgeable Medical staff in the Maternity Unit and Family members
  3. Having a Positive and Confident attitude that it can be done

Breastfeeding Benefits to the Child

  1. This provides the best possible nutrition to the young child
  2. It reduces the incidence of coughs and colds, ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, meningitis and diarrhoea through its protective factors.
  3. It protects the child from colic, asthma, eczema, nose and food allergies
  4. It is essential for the optimal physical, emotional and mental development of the child. Breastfed children are also smarter

Breastfeeding Benefits to the Mother

  1. This promotes mother and child bonding
  2. It prevents uterine bleeding in the mother after delivery
  3. This is a natural form of Family Planning
  4. This reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in the mother
  5. This saves time and precious expenses need not be used for buying milk powder and health care.

3 Easy Steps for Successful Breastfeeding

Feed Early -

  • Within half hour of birth, in the Labour Ward
  • First feed lasts for 10-20 minutes. First day baby feeds 5-6 times a day

Feed Frequently

  • Room in with baby while in Hospital
  • From 2nd day, baby feeds about 1.5 to 2 hourly
  • Baby feeds about 10-12 times per 24 hours
  • Each feed lasts for 20 to 40 minutes or more
  • No limit to duration or frequency of feeds to satisfy suckling needs
  • No need to time the baby and feed whenever baby is hungry
  • At night feed 2 hourly before 12 midnight, then at 2-3 am and again at 5-6am. Good to co-sleep in the same bed with baby.

Feed Properly

  • Hold baby at breast level, lying on his side, chest to chest
  • Stimulate the rooting reflex with nipple touching baby's lips
  • Quickly bring baby to breast when his mouth opens wide
  • Baby latches on properly and prevents sore nipples, when the nipple and much of the areola are in the baby's mouth
  • Allowing suckling till baby sleeps and lets go of the nipple himself
  • Do not pull the baby off the nipple when he is still latched on
  • When off the nipple, and baby cries, put him back on the same breast
  • Allow him to complete one feed on one breast
  • Feed on the other breast at the next feed, 1-2 hours later
  • Colostrum is more than enough for baby till Mature Milk comes in
  • No need to give water, glucose or formula milk
  • Avoid bottles and pacifiers and other artificial nipples as these cause nipple confusion, and breast rejection

Baby has enough milk if

  • He is contented for 1-2 hours after a feed
  • He passes clear dilute urine 5-6 times a day
  • He passes bright yellow watery stools 6-8 times a day
  • He puts on at least 20 grams of body weight a day
  • He regains birth weight after 2 weeks

Breast milk supply can be increased by

  • Frequent feeds day and night
  • Allowing unlimited breastfeeding to satisfy baby's suckling needs
  • Mother to eat and drink sufficient quantities to satisfy her hunger and thirst
  • Cultural foods like ginger and rice wine are compatible with breastfeeding

Breast Engorgement

  • Apply cold wet compresses over the breast to reduce swellings
  • Feed frequently 2-3 hourly round the clock. Safe to take 2 Panadols for pain

Maternal/Infant illnesses

  • It is safe to breastfeed even when mother and baby have illnesses
  • Most drug medications are compatible with Breastfeeding
  • Maternal Mastitis can be treated with antibiotics for 10 days
  • Continue Breastfeeding from both breasts
  • Neonatal Jaundice is compatible with Full Breastfeeding

Working and breastfeeding your baby is possible by storing expressed breast milk