Checklist for healthcare professionals regarding what mothers should know about breastfeeding1.
- Breastfeeding must be learned. Every infant is different, displaying different requirements. A Mother will soon get to know her own infant’s feeding patterns and routine
- Check that Mothers are correctly positioning and attaching their infant at the breast
- Reassure that demand feeding is normal to ensure of a good milk supply as breastfed babies feed frequently
- Check feeding technique if there is a doubt about milk adequacy
- An infant should be allowed to feed from each breast until they are both nearly empty
- It is acceptable to offer “comfort feedings” to meet infants needs
- Avoid giving infants any other drinks or fluids. Mother should be well hydrated
- Mothers need to take into account routine growth spurts when infants will feed more at certain times
- Keep all noise, lights and stimulation to a minimum at night to help infants differentiate between day and night.
- Only change nappies as necessary during the night so as infant will not be over stimulated
- Apply gently winding technique after feeding to alleviate any trapped wind
- Swaddling a newborn infant when putting down to sleep often makes them feel more secure
- Establishing a good bedtime routine is good to start early – Bath, Breast, Bed
Breastfeeding mothers need lots of support from healthcare professionals and family members and friends. Family members also need to be educated on the importance of breastfeeding so that they can offer practical support and reassurance. Individuals and groups in the community can support Breastfeeding women including public health nursess, practice nurses, GPs, lactations consultants and community support groups such as La Leche League and Cuidiu.
- Food Safety Authority of Ireland (2012). Best Practice for Infant Feeding in Ireland.