World leading breastfeeding expert, Dr. Spatz (from UPENN and CHOP), is presenting in London this week at Medela’s 14th International breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium.

Here she shares her wisdom on setting solid foundations for breastfeeding to support mother and baby:

Have confidence

Firstly, mothers must have confidence in their bodies. It is important for mum-to-be to be aware that they begin making milk from 16 weeks of pregnancy onwards. From the second trimester, it is rather wonderful to learn that the breasts are ready to feed baby, no matter how early you deliver or the mode of delivery.

Colostrum

The first milk after delivery is a very specialised milk known as colostrum. It is present in very small amounts so it is perfectly acceptable that your baby may feed every hour – do not be alarmed and just embrace the cuddles. The colostrum milk is like a medication or vaccine. It has a laxative effect to push the first stool (meconium).

Skin to skin

The best place for the baby to be for the first week is skin to skin with mum! I encourage mums to find a place at home that they are comfortable and where they can be topless with their baby. This allows the baby to breastfeed on cue for 8 or more breastfeeding sessions per 24 hours. Prepare for a lot of lovely snuggles!

Eat, sleep & breastfeed

Mum’s only job should be to eat, sleep and breastfeed for the first two weeks! All other family members should be on hand to cook, clean, shop, do the laundry, and care for other children. It is very special to be able to protect the first two weeks for mum and baby to just breastfeed!

Pumping

We don’t want to put pressure on new mums, but it is important for mothers hoping to breastfeed to realise a sense of urgency about milk supply! If an infant does not latch or feed effectively, this could impact milk supply. In this situation pumping with a hospital grade pump will support and ensure milk supply. Very simply, the number one goal of breastfeeding must be preservation of milk supply so that mother can go on to direct breastfeed.

Keeping an eye on number two!

The best way to know the baby is feeding effectively, is that the baby should be passing the right amount of meconium stools, which your midwife will tell you about.

Article by Diane Lynn Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN
Email Contact: spatz@nursing.upenn.edu

Professor of Perinatal Nursing & Helen M. Shearer Professor of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing &

Nurse Researcher & Director of the Lactation Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Clinical Coordinator of the CHOP Mothers’ Milk Bank

Reference
American Academy of Nursing. (2015). 10 Steps to Promote and Protect Human Milk and Breastfeeding in Vulnerable Infants. Retrieved from http://www.aannet.org/initiatives/edge-runners/profiles/edge-runners–10-steps-to-promote-and-protect-human-milk
Preusting, I., Brumley, J., Odibo, L., Spatz, D.L., Louis, J.M. (2017). Obesity as a Predictor of Delayed Lactogenesis II. Journal of Human Lactation. 33(4): 684-69. doi: 10.1177/0890334417727716
Santoro W, Martinez FE, Ricco RG, Jorge SM. (2010). Colostrum ingested during the first day of life by exclusively breastfed healthy newborn infants. Journal of Pediatrics. 156(1):29-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.07.009.
Spatz, D.L. (2017). Say No to Success-Say Yes to Goal Setting. MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(4): 234. doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000350
Spatz (2018.) Helping Mothers Reach Personal Breastfeeding Goals. Nursing Clinics-Women’s Health Across the Lifespan.
Spatz, D.L. (2018). Beyond BFHI: The Spatz 10-step and Breastfeeding Resource Nurse Models to Improve Human Milk and Breastfeeding Outcomes. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing. 32(2); 164-174. DOI: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000339
Spatz, D. L. (2018). The Need for Research in Pregnant and Lactating Women. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing
Spatz, D.L. (2018). Increasing Capacity for the Provision of Evidence Based Human Milk & Breastfeeding Support. Infant Journal.
Taskforce on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (2018). Retrieved from: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2018-09/PRGLAC_Report.pdf
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