Feeding problems can be upsetting, but most babies will learn to breastfeed if given time. It is important to work with the baby’s doctor and your lactation consultant (IBCLC) for latch or sucking problems. There are things you can do to help the breastfeeding process. You also need to make sure your baby is getting enough to eat. Always ask your baby’s doctor if you have questions.
- Wake the baby to breastfeed every three hours. Feed sooner if the baby is giving you feeding signs or cues.
- Know that your baby will do better at some feedings than others.
- Massage your breast toward the nipple during the feeding. This will help the milk flow into the baby’s mouth and encourage the baby to stay awake and continue to suck.
- Keep a chart of the number of wet diapers and stools per day. Write down the amount and color of the stools.
- If your baby is not feeding well at the breast, use a hospital grade, double electric breast pump to develop and maintain a good milk supply. Pump your breasts after breastfeeding.
- Offer supplements of expressed breast milk as directed. Talk to your baby’s doctor about using donor milk from a milk bank or formula if you do not have enough milk to feed your baby.
- Some babies need some help with learning to suck. Ask your doctor for advice or referrals if you have concerns.
- Certain feeding devices and methods may help the baby to learn to breastfeed. A lactation consultant (IBCLC) or healthcare provider can help you decide if a device or method is right for your baby.
Get support; consult your lactation consultant (IBCLC) or your baby’s healthcare provider for any concerns or questions. Your support network can help provide information and the moral support you need.