Breastfeeding: Did You Know?
It’s National Breastfeeding Month. Since both Bayhealth hospitals are Baby-Friendly®, meaning they promote breastfeeding and provide related support and education, here are some important facts women should know about breastfeeding, according to Bayhealth’s Lactation Services Program Coordinator Gail Smith, RN, IBCLC.
- You can eat your normal diet while breastfeeding. “Women sometimes think they have to avoid certain foods if they are breastfeeding,” said Smith. “This isn’t always true. It depends on the woman and the baby. Most moms can eat whatever they’d like while breastfeeding their baby.”
- Babies don’t need much milk. “Babies don’t need as much milk as you’d think they do, especially during the first few days,” Smith explained. “That’s why a lot of moms who bottle feed their babies end up over-feeding them.”
- The volume of milk often remains the same across all stages of breastfeeding. “Many first-time moms believe their bodies will produce more milk as their baby ages. While this happens in some women (they may produce between 25 and 40 ounces in 24 hours), it’s the content of the milk that changes to provide the nourishment required.”
- You need to organize your day to allow for pumping. “You need about 15 minutes, a few times a day for pumping, unless you are only pumping. In that case, you need to pump at least eight times in 24 hours,” said Smith. “I tell breastfeeding moms who work outside of the home that two sessions equate to the same amount of time allotted for the breaks mandated by labor law. The only difference is it’s important you don’t skip these breaks, as many employees do. That means you should schedule them into your daily routine, if necessary.”
You can learn more about these and other facts and tips through Bayhealth’s Lactation Services, which provides the counseling and support you need to breastfeed your baby. Bayhealth also offers free classes on this topic, including Breastfeeding 101 that teaches the basics and helps moms get off to a good start; Pumping, Milk, and More that shows you how to use a pump and what kind of pump works best, based on personal circumstances and preferences; and the Breastfeeding Support Group that offers new moms an encouraging environment. Visit Bayhealth's Classes and Events page to learn more and to register.