Q: What can I do to help my milk supply start strong and stay that way? I am about to have my second baby and I want to exclusively breastfeed this time around. With my first, I never felt like I had enough milk and supplemented with formula from the beginning.
A: First of all-congratulations on your impending arrival. Exclusive breastfeeding has many lifelong benefits. To ensure success, tell the hospital staff you intend to breastfeed and be sure your birth partner is on the same page. Most babies are ready to nurse within 20-30 minutes after birth so put your baby to breast right away. Don’t worry if your first breastfeeding session doesn’t go smoothly, just try again when your baby is ready. Try to keep your baby unwrapped and against your bare chest (cover both of you with a cute blanket for modesty). Your baby will enjoy your body heat and have easy access to a snack whenever he is ready. Frequent nursing is the key to establishing and maintaining a strong milk supply.
Helen Anderson, RN, CLE is a registered nurse, breastfeeding educator and the co-founder of Milkies.