Feeding your baby only breastmilk is recommended for the first six months of your baby's life. Continue to breastfeed, while introducing new foods, after your baby is six months old.
Breastfeeding helps your baby for the following reasons:
- Breast milk is the perfect mixture of fat, sugar, water, protein and minerals your baby needs to grow and develop. As your baby grows, your breast milk changes to adapt to the baby's changing nutritional needs.
- Breast milk is easier than formula for your baby to digest.
- Breast milk provides antibodies to your baby, which help protect them from illnesses and allergies. The longer the baby breastfeeds, the greater the health benefits.
- Breastfed infants have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- For premature babies, breast milk can help reduce the risk of many of the short-term and long-term health problems.
Breastfeeding helps the mother by:
- Triggering the release of hormones that help the uterus contract. This helps heal the mother faster after childbirth and reduces the amount of bleeding she might otherwise experience.
- Making it easier to lose the weight gained during pregnancy.
- Reducing the future risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Breastfeeding is a natural process, but it can take time for you and your baby to learn. Although most women can breastfeed, a few cannot because of medical conditions or other problems. We are here to help- call our office at any time for assistance. Remember, if you decide not to breastfeed or cannot breastfeed, it is okay. You will find the best feeding option for you and your baby.
- Take a breastfeeding education course online or in-person. Kelsey-Seybold offers monthly breastfeeding classes. Register here.
- Order a breast pump and extra pump parts - check with your insurance company to find which pumps are covered.
- Stock up on breastfeeding essentials, such as a high-quality nursing bra, breast pads, a nursing pillow, Lanolin cream, and a nursing cover.
- Select a pediatrician. Learn more about Kelsey-Seybold Pediatrics and find a pediatrician in your area.
- Most healthy newborns are ready to breastfeed right after delivery. Hold your baby's bare skin against your bare skin ("skin-to-skin" contact) to encourage your baby to latch and stimulate your body to start releasing milk.
- Look for your baby's hunger cues - baby is alert and bringing their fists or fingers to their mouth. Crying is a late sign of hunger - an unhappy baby will be harder to breastfeed.
- Feed your baby as your baby shows hunger cues, at least every 2-3 hours. Your baby should be breastfeeding 8-12 times in 24 hours.
Tips for a Successful Breastfeeding Journey
Newborns nurse frequently and for extended periods of time.
Drink enough water so that you're not regularly thirsty. Keep water nearby while nursing.
Stress can impact your milk supply.
It's important to keep up your caloric intake while breastfeeding. Your body needs about 500 extra calories a day to make breast milk.
Take your vitamin
Continue to take your prenatal vitamin while breastfeeding.
Call for help
If you're experiencing pain during breastfeeding, contact Kelsey-Seybold for assistance. There will be lactation support at the hospital where you deliver and resources through the clinic to support you. Talk to your doctor about what's available.
Common Questions About Breastfeeding
Can I take my medication while breastfeeding?
Most medications are safe to take while breastfeeding. Although medications can be passed to your baby in breast milk, levels are usually much lower than the levels in your blood stream. Talk to your doctor about ANY medication or over-the-counter supplements you're taking to make sure they are safe for your baby. View our list of safe medications to use while breastfeeding.
Can I drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks while breastfeeding?
Drinking caffeine in moderate amounts (200 mg each day/ typical eight ounce cup of coffee) most likely will not affect your baby.
Can I drink alcohol while breastfeeding?
You may drink an occasional alcoholic beverage if you wait at least two hours after a single drink to breastfeed. If you wait at least two hours after an alcoholic drink, there is no need to pump and discard your milk.
What forms of birth control can I use while breastfeeding?
Some forms of hormonal birth control can affect your milk supply, so talk with your doctor about your birth control options. Nonhormonal methods, such as copper IUDs, condoms, and diaphragms will not affect your milk supply.
Breastmilk Storage Guidelines
|Up to 4 hours
|Up to 4 days
|6 – 12 months
|Thawed, Previously Frozen
|Up to 24 hours
|Do not refreeze breast milk after thawing.
|Leftover Breast Milk
|Use within 2 hours after the baby is finished feeding then discard.
Kelsey-Seybold Breastfeeding Support
If you're experiencing pain or difficulty breastfeeding, schedule a breastfeeding consultation appointment with Kelsey Seybold at one of the following locations.
Select the option to speak with the nurse at any location listed above.
Appointments are available Monday-Friday.
Virtual Breastfeeding Classes
Kelsey-Seybold Clinic offers breastfeeding webinars to boost your confidence in breastfeeding. Webinars are held monthly and offer viewers a chance to learn from a lactation specialist as they discuss breastfeeding practices.
Additional Resources to Help Successfully Breastfeed Your Baby
Before you give birth, try to learn as much about breastfeeding as possible. Look for a baby-friendly hospital and ask what breastfeeding support groups and classes they offer.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) also offers breastfeeding tips and answers to frequently asked questions at acog.org.
Your Kelsey-Seybold obstetrician and pediatrician can also guide you and provide support. Talk to other moms who have breastfed their babies and be sure to involve your partner. Your partner's support is key to successful breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Support Groups
La Leche League of Texas offers breastfeeding support groups across the Houston area. Access their website to learn more.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gyneocologists (ACOG) (2021, May). FAQs: Breastfeeding your baby. ACOG. Retrieved March 9, 2022, from www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/breastfeeding-your-baby
- Brown, Rachel (2018, March 22). 5 best breastfeeding positions for new moms. Mommy Bites. https://mommybites.com/col1/baby/5-best-breastfeeding-positions-new-moms/