Earlier this year, Lamaze released the revised, 3rd edition version of our book, Giving Birth with Confidence. (You can check out our full review here.) Since it's release, we've been sharing little snapshots of what's inside -- you can view all the posts in this series here. Throughout the month, we're celebrating breastfeeding to honor World Breastfeeding Week, Black Breastfeeding Week, and National Breastfeeding Month. Lamaze has always supported and encouraged breastfeeding as an integral part of a child's healthy development and as beneficial resource for families, too. There's no shortage of information about breastfeeding in the book! Here are the highlights:
On looking for baby's hunger cues:
"He may appear asleep, but his eyes are moving beneath his lids and he moves his arms and hands to his mouth. He bobs his head from side to side and may even try to suck on your arm or face if you're holding him. He may make small noises. These actions are his natural way of alerting you that he's ready to find the breast, latch on, and suck. If you wait until he cries -- which may be as long as thirty minutes after he starts giving you cues -- he's no longer in a state to nurse easily."
On skin-to-skin and breastfeeding just after birth:
"Researchers in Sweden have discovered that when a newborn is placed on her mother's abdomen, in time she can make her way to her mother's breast and actually latch on by herself. Baby is helped along by the familiar smell of amniotic fluid on her hands, the smell and warmth of her mother's skin, the sound of her voice, and the 'target' of her darkened nipple."
On the unique abilities of breast milk:
"Breast milk changes to match your baby's needs. Colostrum is extremely rich in antibodies and nutrients -- perfect food for a newborn's tiny stomach, which is only the size of a walnut. Mother's of premature babies produce milk that's higher in fat than mothers of full-term babies. As breastfeeding is established, milk is higher in fat at the end of a feed and during the night. As baby gets older, the composition of milk is different than it was when baby was a newborn."
On those unfamiliar with breastfeeding:
"If women in your family or your friends haven't breastfed, you may want to take this time now to seek out and spend some time with women who are breastfeeding. (You might also purchase a book about breastfeeding. See Recommended Resources.) Seeing breastfeeding in action and hearing how breastfeeding fits into women's busy lives is invaluable."
On tips to prepare for breastfeeding before birth:
- "Talk to women who are breastfeeding or have breastfed babies.
- Watch babies at the breast.
- Attend a La Leche League or other breastfeeding group meeting.
- Get the name of a lactation consultant.
- Buy a breastfeeding book like The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman.
- Remember that your body knows how to breastfeed your baby.
- Talk to your caregiver about delaying newborn testing and other routine procedures."