Can't Breastfeed? Tips to Provide Same Nutrition to Baby
Breastfeeding is Natural but Not Always Easy, but Health First Lactation Resources are Available to Help
According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life not only helps protect infants against major health problems, but moms as well.
As natural as nursing is, it's not always easy - especially when it comes to preterm infants who cannot breastfeed. But a mother can still deliver the many benefits human milk provides with the help of a breast pump, said Laene Keith, a lactation consultant at Health First's Cape Canaveral Hospital, who offered the following insight:
Newborns typically feed eight to 12 times per 24 hours. Signs that babies are ready to feed include mouth movements, eye flutters, hands to mouth and crying, a late readiness cue.
When a new mom is unable to breastfeed but still wants to provide her milk to her baby, she should establish a pumping schedule that mimics the patterns of newborn feeding - a minimum of eight pumps in 24 hours, with each session lasting about 15 to 20 minutes for a double-pumping session.
By the infant's tenth day of life, mom should be expressing nearly 750 milliliters per day
While feeding a baby from the breast is ideal, expressing milk for baby's consumption is also a great way to boost health. Each mom's milk is specifically formatted with antibodies to best suit her baby
Breastfeeding is scientifically proven to help lower a child's risk of ear infections, obesity and certain cancers
Manual pumps are suited for occasional use, while double electric units are designed to help moms establish a milk supply
The Affordable Care Act provides coverage of a single-user breast pump for a breastfeeding mother. Contact your insurance provider for details
To help establish an ideal pumping rhythm, it may be helpful to rely on visualization, mindfulness, sensory input, relaxation, distraction and even multitasking
Federal laws help facilitate a nursing mother's ability to do so when working outside the home. Employers must accommodate mothers with a reasonable timeframe to express milk, as well as a private space to do so (other than a bathroom).
Feeding a newborn breast milk is an ever-evolving commitment that requires plenty of support. Each mother's journey is unique. There are a variety of local resources, as well as online support for new and experienced parents to give their infants the best start possible for a healthy life.