3. Feeding

Working Together: Breastfeeding and Solid Foods

Breastfeeding, like many other aspects of parenting, is a gradual process of increasing independence and self-mastery on your baby’s part and a gradual stepping back on yours. You may have already experienced the beginnings of this process during the first half year of life as your baby learned to enjoy drinking expressed breast milk from a bottle or cup and you began to go places without her. Still, the two of you were closely tied to each other in a nutritional sense: your child thrived on your breast milk alone, which provided the nutrients she needed.

During the second half of the year, your breast milk will continue to provide the great majority of necessary nutrients as she starts to sample a variety of new foods. Though your baby will no doubt greatly enjoy the introduction of new tastes and textures in her life, her experiences with solid food are still just practice sessions for the future. It’s important to make sure she continues getting enough breast milk to meet her nutritional needs.

Introducing foods

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months. When you add solid foods to your baby’s diet, continue breastfeeding until at least 12 months. You can continue to breastfeed after 12 months if you and your baby desire. Check with your child’s doctor about vitamin D and iron supplements during the first year.

Parents with food allergies are often advised to avoid foods that commonly cause allergic reactions (such as cow’s milk, dairy products, and foods made from peanuts or other nuts). But recent research found that the late introduction of certain foods may actually increase your baby’s risk for food allergies and inhaled allergies. You should discuss any concerns with your pediatrician.

If no allergies are present, simply observe your baby for indications that she is interested in trying new foods and then start to introduce them gradually, one by one. Signs that the older baby is ready for solids include sitting up with minimal support, showing good head control, trying to grab food off your plate, or turning her head to refuse food when she is not hungry. Your baby may be ready for solids if she continues to act hungry after breastfeeding. The loss of the tonguethrusting reflex that causes food to be pushed out of her mouth is another indication that she’s ready to expand her taste experience.

First foods

Since most breastfeeding babies’ iron stores begin to diminish at about six months, good first choices for solids are those rich in iron. Current recommendations are that meats, such as turkey, chicken, and beef, should be added as one of the first solids to the breastfed infant’s diet. Meats are good sources of high-quality protein, iron, and zinc and provide greater nutritional value than cereals, fruits, or vegetables.

Iron-fortified infant cereal (such as rice cereal or oatmeal) is another good solid food to complement breast milk. When first starting infant cereal, check the label to make sure that the cereal is a single- ingredient product—that is, rice cereal or oatmeal—and does not contain added fruit, milk or yogurt solids, or infant formula. This will decrease the likelihood of an allergic reaction with the initial cereal feedings. You can mix the cerealwith your breast milk, water, or formula (if you’ve already introduced formula to your baby) until it is a thin consistency. As your baby gets used to the taste and texture, you can gradually make it thicker and increase the amount.

Once your child has grown accustomed to these new tastes, gradually expand her choices with applesauce, pears, peaches, bananas, or other mashed or strained fruit, and such vegetables as cooked carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes. Introduce only one new food at a time and wait several days before you add another new food, to make sure your child does not have a negative reaction.

As you learn which foods your baby enjoys and which ones she clearly dislikes, your feeding relationship will grow beyond nursing to a more complex interaction— not a replacement for breastfeeding, certainly, but an interesting addition to it. Remember to keep exposing your baby to a wide variety of foods. Research indicates that some babies need multiple exposures to a new taste before they learn to enjoy it. The breastfed baby has already been experiencing different flavors in the mother’s breast milk, based upon her diet, so solid foods often have a familiar taste when introduced to the breastfed baby.

Babies need only a few spoonfuls as they begin solids. Since these first foods are intended as complements and not replacements for your breast milk, it’s best to offer them after a late afternoon or evening feeding, when your milk supply is apt to be at its lowest and your baby may still be hungry.

Some pediatricians recommend an iron supplement. If this is the case, be careful to give the exact dose prescribed by your doctor. Always store iron and vitamin preparations out of the reach of young children in the household, since overdoses can be toxic.

You may find that the number of breastfeedings will gradually decrease as her consumption of solid food increases. A baby who nursed every two to three hours during early infancy may enjoy three or four meals of breast milk per day (along with several snacks) by her twelfth month.

Unless you intend to wean her soon, be sure to continue breastfeeding whenever she desires, to ensure your continuing milk supply. To ease breast discomfort, it may become necessary to express a small amount of milk manually on occasion, if her decreasing demand leaves you with an oversupply. Breast comfort is another reason why a gradual introduction of solid foods is advisable, since it allows your body time to adapt to changing demands. Over the span of several months, a readjustment in the supply-and-demand relationship can take place smoothly and painlessly.

3. Feeding

Why Breastfeed

​Getting ready for the birth of your baby is an exciting and busy time. One of the most important decisions you will make is how to feed your baby.

Deciding to breastfeed can give your baby the best possible start in life. Breastfeeding benefits you and your baby in many ways. It also is a proud tradition of many cultures.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

In general, the longer you breastfeed, the greater the benefits will be to you and your baby, and the lonfer these benefits will last.

Why is breastfeeding so good for my baby?

Breastfeeding is good for your baby because:

1. Breastfeeding provides warmth and closeness. The physical contact helps create a special bond between you and your baby.

2. Human milk has many benefits.

  • It’s easier for your baby to digest.
  • It doesn’t need to be prepared.
  • It’s always available.
  • It has all the nutrients, calories, and fluids your baby needs to be healthy.
  • It has growth factors that ensure the best development of your baby’s organs.
  • It has many substances that formulas don’t have that protect your baby from many diseases and infections. In fact, breastfed babies are less likely to have:
    • Ear infections
    • Diarrhea
    • Pneumonia, wheezing, and bronchiolitis
    • Other bacterial and viral infections, such as meningitis
  • Research also suggests that breastfeeding may help to protect against obesity, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, eczema, colitis, and some cancers.

Why is breastfeeding good for me?

Breastfeeding is good for your health because it helps:

  • Release hormones in your body that promote mothering behavior.
  • Return your uterus to the size it was before pregnancy more quickly.
  • Burn more calories, which may help you lose the weight you gained during pregnancy.
  • Delay the return of your menstrual period to help keep iron in your body.
  • Provide contraception, but only if these 3 conditions are met:
    • You are exclusively breastfeeding and not giving your baby any other supplements
    • It is within the first 6 months after birth
    • Your period has not returned
  • Reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer.
  • Keep bones strong, which helps protect against bone fractures in older age.

Breastfeeding: a natural gift

Breastmilk gives your baby more than just good nutrition. It also provides important substances to fight infection. Breastfeeding has medical and psychological benefits for both of you. For many mothers and babies, breastfeeding goes smoothly from the start. For others, it takes a little time and several attempts to get the process going effectively. Like anything new, breastfeeding takes some practice. This is perfectly normal. If you need help, ask the doctors and nurses while you are still in the hospital, your pediatrician, a lactation specialist, or a breastfeeding support group.

3. Feeding

When Not To Wean

In most cases, the decision to wean can be based on a mother’s and child’s inner needs and practical considerations relating to the family. However, it’s best to put off weaning in some situations until a time when conditions are better. Such situations include:

  • Food allergies. If you or your child’s father have experienced food allergies, talk with your child’s pediatrician or other health professional about the benefits of delaying weaning until at least after your child’s first birthday. Avoiding cow’s milk or cow’s- milk-based products may be helpful.
  • Illness. If your child has a cold, is teething, has recently been hospitalized, or is otherwise not in tip-top shape, put off initiating the weaning process until he feels better. You might also want to delay your first attempts if you feel under the weather. It’s always best to meet any transition period when you and your child are at your physical and emotional best.
  • Changes at home. If you are pregnant or have recently had a new baby, this may not be the best time to wean, unless led by your child. On the other hand, your needs and the needs of a newborn may take priority. Always breastfeed the newborn first, but try to be sensitive to the needs of everyone involved. Likewise, a move to a new home, a marital disruption, a new child care situation, your return to work, and other potentially stressful situations are not the best times to initiate another major change. Ideally, you will begin weaning when it’s not overly stressful for you or your child.
3. Feeding

Weaning Your Baby

Knowing exactly when to wean your baby isn’t always easy, but it’s an inevitable event for any nursing mother. The key is doing it gradually and making sure that both you and your baby are ready for this transition.

Is this the right time?

Chances are both and your baby have enjoyed the closeness that comes with breastfeeding. In fact, you may want to continue nursing your child through toddlerhood. But your child’s active temperament may cause them to be too impatient to continue to nurse.

On the other hand, your child may want to continue nursing long past his first year, particularly before bedtime and when they’re in need of comfort. But you may feel the need to move on to the next phase of parenting, with more independence.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends continued breastfeeding beyond a baby’s first birthday, as long as desired by mother and child.

The simplest, most natural time to wean is when your child starts the process. Weaning may begin naturally at six months, when solid foods rich in iron and protein should be introduced. Some infants begin to turn gradually away from breastfeeding and toward other forms of nutrition and comfort at around one year of age, when they have begun to enjoy a wide variety of solid foods and have learned to drink from a cup. Others wean themselves during the toddler years as they become more physically active and less willing to sit still to nurse.

Gradually tapering off how often you nurse—by eliminating a feeding every two or three days, or even once a week—can help the weaning process proceed smoothly. As your child becomes so busy with new experiences, they may forgets it’s time to nurse.

You may, however, decide to start weaning earlier for reasons of your own. These may include the need to be away from home for longer periods, a new pregnancy, job constraints, or even a lack of desire to keep breastfeeding. (It is important to remember, though, that you can continue to breastfeed even if you have become pregnant or return to work. You can reduce the frequency of breastfeeding, for example, and start using some infant formula.)Did you know that the nutritional content of mother’s milk keeps changing beyond the first year to meet a growing baby’s needs? It continues to support a baby’s immune system, too. And other protective effects tied to mother’s milk, such as lower risk of certain cancers in child and mother, appear strongest with breastfeeding beyond a child’s first birthday.

Starting the weaning process yourself will not be as easy as following your child’s lead. But with care and sensitivity, it’s certainly doable. Keep in mind that you have provided the best start for your baby by breastfeeding, no matter how early or late you decide to stop. Some breastfeeding is better than none. No one but you can decide what is best for you and your infant.

A gradual parting: How to wean

The best way to wean is gradually moving toward other forms of nutrition and closeness. Ideally, the number and length of breastfeeding sessions should tapering off over weeks or even months. In this way, you and your child will have time to find other ways to maintain closeness, express and accept tenderness or comfort, and ensure proper nutritional intake before you completely stop nursing. You will also avoid the conflicts and resistance that tend to spring from more abrupt weaning and even minimize your own physical difficulties such as breast engorgement.

One of the most effective ways to begin a gradual weaning process with a child age one or older is simply not to offer a feeding and wait to see if they request it. The easiest first session to skip in this way is usually the midday breastfeeding, when your child may already have had access to a lunch of solid food and such liquids as cow’s milk or water.

If your child gets used to missing the midday nursing session, take a look at skipping a second feeding in the same way. Redirect your child’s attention to new activities, other food options, and sources of emotional reassurance (such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal) to help make the transition easier.

If your child decides that they still want to nurse, offer the breast. This will reassure that you are still there for them as they continue to explore their surroundings. If they cling to one or two favorite feeding times—usually the last one before bedtime and the first one in the morning—consider continuing these sessions for as long as they want to nurse. Such quiet times rarely interfere with even the busiest family’s schedule, and are a wonderful way to maintain that special closeness with your child.

If your child resists weaning

Some children strongly object to their mother’s efforts to move from breast to bottle or cup, no matter how sensitively and gradually the process is approached. This can become frustrating if you want or need to wean by a specific time (for example, if you need to start back to work or school and have decided not to express your milk during separation).

Consider shortening your nursing sessions as a prelude to dropping them altogether. At the times of day when your child is used to nursing, stay away from spots where you usually nurse. Involve your baby in an interesting activity. Avoid such strong nursing cues as pulling them onto your lap, uncovering your breasts in front of them, or even sitting down.
Don’t forget to offer your child even more than the usual amount of affection, hugs, and kisses, though. The emotional component of breastfeeding is powerful for the older baby and toddler, and is best replaced with other forms of physical contact and expressions of your love.

If your baby still resists weaning, consider whether you might continue breastfeeding—just less often—while offering a cup, bottle, or other foods at other times. By partially weaning (for example, initially keeping the early morning and bedtime feedings, and then gradually dropping the early morning session), you eliminate a source of conflict between your child and yourself that may turn out to be unnecessary. You also send your child the message that you are paying attention to their feelings and responding to them.

Eventually you can agree with your older child on an endpoint for nursing. In the meantime, your willingness to recognize their needs and provide for them sets an excellent pattern in your relationship for the years to come.

3. Feeding

Warning Signs of Breastfeeding Problems

Natural as the breastfeeding process is, problems can occasionally arise. When they do surface, they may grow worse very quickly and interfere with your milk production or your baby’s ability to get the nutrition she needs. For this reason, it’s vital to get help right away if you experience difficulty with breastfeeding at home or observe any of the symptoms listed below. Contact your baby’s pediatrician, and don’t stop asking for one-on-one guidance until you get the help you need.

  • Your baby’s nursing sessions are either very short or extremely long. Breastfeeding sessions that are consistently briefer than about ten minutes during the first few months may mean that your baby isn’t getting enough milk and that not enough milk is being removed to stimulate your ongoing milk production. Sessions that last consistently longer than about fifty minutes may mean that your baby isn’t receiving enough milk due to ineffective suckling or low milk production.
  • Your baby still seems hungry after most feedings. She may not be ingesting enough milk. Consult your pediatrician and have her weighed right away. Meanwhile, double-check her latch-on and position at the breast to try to increase the milk she is getting.
  • Your newborn frequently misses nursing sessions or sleeps through the night. Frequent feedings around the clock are a necessary part of breastfeeding a new baby. Your baby requires a feeding every few hours to gain sufficient weight to thrive. If your newborn sleeps longer than four hours a night, wake her up and encourage her to nurse. You don’t hear frequent swallowing when your baby nurses after your milk supply has come in. Your baby will probably swallow occasionally as she begins to nurse, more frequently as she continues a session, and less frequently again near the end. Swallowing is an excellent sign that she is actually ingesting milk, and its absence should prompt you to call her pediatrician at once. (Remember, though, that you may not be able to hear your baby swallowing when she is taking small sips of colostrum in the early days.)
  • By two weeks of age, your baby is under her birth weight or hasn’t started gaining at least 5 to 7 ounces per week since your milk came in. Inadequate weight gain is one of the strongest indicators that a baby is not getting enough milk.
  • After seven days, your baby has fewer than six wet diapers and four stools per day, her urine is dark yellow or specked with red, or her stools are still dark rather than yellow and loose. If you or your pediatrician is concerned about your child’s milk intake, you might want to keep a written record of your baby’s wet diapers and bowel movements during the early days to be sure she is progressing properly. Most hospitals and lactation specialists can provide you with a special diary to use in recording your newborn’s feedings and diaper changes.
  • After five days, your milk hasn’t come in or your breasts don’t feel as though they’re filling with milk. If you feel this way, have your baby weighed by her pediatrician immediately. This is the most precise way to tell whether she is ingesting enough milk. You may also want to have your breasts examined.
  • You experience severe breast engorgement. Hard, painful breasts may prevent your baby from latching on correctly and discourage both of you from nursing. You may need to express milk manually or with an electric breast pump until your breasts have softened somewhat. Severe, unrelieved engorgement can decrease your milk supply.
  • The fullness and hardness of your breasts don’t decrease by the end of a feeding. Your baby may not be drinking enough milk or may be suckling ineffectively.
  • Severe pain interferes with breastfeeding.Your baby is probably not latching on correctly. If you have severe nipple pain or significant cracking of the nipples that makes it too painful to nurse, consult your physician or lactation specialist. She can check for a nipple or breast infection such as mastitis and help you with any problems with latching on. You may need to start breastfeeding on the less sore side or even use an electric breast pump until your nipples have healed. Your lactation specialist or La Leche volunteer can show you how to do this.
  • After a week or two, you don’t notice the sensations associated with your milk let-down reflex. Though this may not indicate a problem at all, it could mean that your milk production is low. Ask your baby’s pediatrician to evaluate her and observe your breastfeeding technique. Your local La Leche League volunteer or lactation specialist can help assess the situation, too.
3. Feeding

Treating Breast Pain


It’s not unusual for your baby to have a little trouble latching on​ the first few times you breastfeed. Some babies suck on the nipple without taking enough of the areola into the mouth, which can result in a lot of pain for you. Your nipples may even become cracked and sore, and you may be tempted to stop breastfeeding.

In the days and weeks following childbirth, it is important to have your pediatrician or lactation specialist check to make sure that correct latching on has been achieved, since improper latching on can seriously decrease your baby’s milk intake as well as your milk production. It can also cause painful cracks in your nipples that will make breastfeeding uncomfortable until they heal.

What you can do

Many women find that their nipples are somewhat sensitive for the first few days, until they become used to breastfeeding. To prevent soreness, wash your breasts with warm water when bathing and avoid using soap, which can dry and irritate your nipples.

If your nipples do become sore or even cracked, check again to be sure that your baby’s lips and gums are on the areola as she nurses and not just on the nipple. If possible, vary her position at each feeding. Sometimes a simple switch in positions can make all the difference.

Avoid exposing your nipples to excessive moisture between feedings, too. If you are wearing plastic breast shells to treat inverted nipples, remove them after thirty minutes, since these devices hold in moisture. Refrain from using plastic-lined nursing pads for the same reason.

Gently pat your nipples dry after a feeding and then apply colostrum, breast milk, or medical-grade purified lanolin to soothe and heal them. (Creams and lotions generally will not help and may actually make the problem worse.)

If these steps fail to solve the problem, ask your doctor or lactation specialist for help. In most cases, nipple soreness is a temporary issue and should not stand in the way of successful breastfeeding.

3. Feeding

Transitional Milk and Mature Milk

Transitional Milk

When breastfeeding mothers talk about their milk coming in, they are referring to the onset of production of transitional milk, the creamy milk that immediately follows colostrum. Transitional milk is produced anywhere from about two to five days after birth until ten to fourteen days after birth.

Because your breasts will supply a much greater amount of transitional milk than colostrum, your breasts will become larger and firmer during this stage. This new fullness may feel uncomfortable at first and may make it more difficult for your baby to latch on to the breast correctly. With practice, however (and perhaps with the help of your baby’s pediatrician or lactation specialist), you will help your baby latch on.

Sometimes expressing a small amount of milk by hand will help to soften the areola enough to make it easier for the baby to latch. The drops of milk on your nipple also will encourage your baby to feed. Breastfeeding will ease the pressure in your breasts and make you feel more comfortable.

As your baby latches on and begins to breastfeed steadily, you may notice a tingly pins-and-needles sensation. This feeling tells you that the milk let-down reflex has occurred, causing milk to be pushed out of the milk-producing cells into milk ducts so it’s available to your baby. The let-down reflex can be stimulated by your baby’s suckling, an approaching feeding time, or just the sound ofyour baby’s hungry cry. Once this happens, your milk will flow more plentifully and your baby will enjoy a satisfying feeding. You will hear him swallowing more frequently. You may notice milk dripping or spurting from your other breast when let-down occurs.

In the early weeks of breastfeeding, you may notice cramping or “afterpains” of your uterus when the baby feeds at the breast. This is yet another result of the hormone oxytocin. It is important for you to try to relax and rest, as stress, pain, and fatigue may decrease milk production and release.

The combination of sharply increased demand and the resulting increased human milk supply may make you feel like you are constantly breastfeeding during this early period. Daytime feedings may be anywhere from one and a half to three hours apart and may range in length from ten minutes to close to an hour each. Human milk is easily digested by the baby, and breastfed newborns typically nurse eight to twelve times a day. Soon, however, the nursing pattern will stabilize, and feedings will become less frequent. Over time, feedings will continue to change in frequency and length, depending upon your baby’s needs.

Mature Milk

In most women, mature milk begins to appear near the end of the second week after childbirth. Mature milk is produced in as great a volume as transitional milk but is thinner and more watery or even bluish; sometimes it’s described as looking like skim milk when it is first secreted, until the fat is released later in the feeding and it becomes more creamy.

Your breasts may appear somewhat softer and smaller than they did during the transitional-milk stage, though they will still be larger than before your pregnancy. These changes in your breasts and in your milk are normal and are designed to provide just what your baby needs for his nutrition, growth, and development.

Much later, after your baby begins to sample other liquids and solid foods, breastfeeding sessions will decrease in frequency. Some mothers choose to continue breastfeeding into the toddler or preschool years. By this time, the overall nutritional contribution of breastfeeding has diminished proportionate to the great variety of other beverages and solids the child is consuming. However, human milk continues to be as nutritious as cow’s milk. The emotional and immunologic benefits of the nursing relationship continue throughout the period of lactation.

3. Feeding

Toddlers and Breastfeeding

My toddler wants to breastfeed only when he’s upset or tired. Is it healthy to continue breastfeeding if nursing has turned into a comfort ritual more than anything else?

Your toddler may turn to nursing for comfort and reassurance, but he is certainly still benefiting from the nutritional and immunologic benefits. In any case, emotional support is a perfectly legitimate aspect of breastfeeding.

Seeking out a reassuring nursing session when he’s upset and bouncing back as soon as he finishes builds your child’s confidence and feelings of security and well-being. Certainly there is no evidence that extended breastfeeding makes a child more dependent or harms him in any way.

On the contrary, many parents proudly tell how independent, healthy, and exceptionally bright their long-term breastfed children become. As long as you are comfortable breastfeeding your toddler, there is no reason to stop.

3. Feeding

First Feeding

The minutes following childbirth are typically an exciting time for everyone involved. As you recover from your physical experience of labor and delivery, you may feel overwhelmed by an enormous number of new feelings, hopes, and uncertainties. Of course, this is also a time when you want the professional treatment of your newborn to proceed according to your wishes.

Ideally, you will have informed your obstetrician and pediatrician ahead of time of your desire to breastfeed. Your partner or birthing coach should remind your pediatrician and obstetrical or newborn nurses that you do not want your baby to be given water, a pacifier, or supplemental feedings without a valid medical reason.


Ideally, you will want your baby placed on your abdomen moments after delivery. You will want to breastfeed within an hour or so of giving birth to take advantage of your baby’s suckling instinct. When placed in skin-to-skin contact with the mother, the alert, healthy infant is capable of latching on to the breast without specific assistance within the first hour after birth.

Infants who are placed on their mother’s abdomen after birth and who attach to the breast within an hour have more successful breastfeeding experiences than infants who do not attach early on. Milk let-down also occurs earlier in mothers who breastfeed their infants soon after birth. In fact, babies who nurse early after delivery are more likely to still be breastfeeding at two to four months of age than infants who start nursing more than two hours after birth.

Immediate breastfeeding also starts the process of establishing your future milk supply and helps your uterus contract and return to its prepregnancy state, which decreases the chance of excessive bleeding after delivery.

Breastfeeding immediately is possible with most healthy births, when a baby needs little medical care beyond drying off and keeping warm. Offering your breast to your infant at this time will help her take advantage of her natural instincts to latch on and suckle. You should place your baby in skin-to-skin contact on your abdomen or chest, with bare skin against bare skin. Have your baby wear nothing, except a diaper if you prefer. If the baby is cold, your temperature will increase to bring the baby’s temperature up. This skin-to-skin placement will also allow the baby direct access to the breast.


This is not to say that your newborn will instantly know what to do. Some mothers find that their babies do not actively suckle during the first few attempts but instead simply snuggle contentedly against the breast, tentatively lick the nipple, or attach to the breast and suckle briefly but then stop and look around. Many others find that their babies latch on right away and suckle as if they’ve been doing it for months. (Most babies have already been practicing by sucking on their fingers or arms in the uterus.)

Whether or not your infant actually breastfeeds productively at this time is not critical. Rather, this is a time for the two of you to start to get to know each other, for her to be introduced to the breast, and for her to begin to associate the sight, smell, and feel of your breasts with the satiety of her hunger and thirst. She also learns that being held skin to skin makes her feel warm, comfortable, and nurtured.

Good for Mom, too

This first feeding is important for you, too, in that it represents your first step in establishing a breastfeeding relationship. No matter how well you have prepared ahead of time, your first real breastfeeding experience may feel a little strange. Your baby’s tongue on your nipple or her firm grip on your breast may feel different from what you’d imagined, or you may find that you are unsure whether you are holding her correctly or whether she’s truly latched on. You may perceive help from nurses as intrusive or feel self- conscious trying to breastfeed in a room full of strangers. All of these feelings are normal for a new mother.

As in any partnership, you and your newborn will have to learn and adjust to each other’s style. As with any physical skill, mastery will come with practice. For now it’s best to relax, enjoy this moment, and wait until you’ve both had some rest before worrying about perfecting your technique.

If you need to wait

There are some situations in which immediate breastfeeding is not possible or advisable. If your baby is premature, ill, in fragile condition, or if you are still struggling to recover from medication given for a cesarean section or any other type of sedation, you may need to postpone nursing. If this is the case, there is still plenty of time to become acquainted with your baby. As soon as possible after a difficult delivery, request help from the hospital staff so that breastfeeding can go as smoothly as possible.

3. Feeding

Stick with Breastfeeding – It’s Worth It!

AAP Infographic - Stick with breastfeeding - it's worth it!