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How to Breastfeed For One Year Or Beyond

Sep 16, 2008
As research about the benefits of breastfeeding continues to mount, more moms than ever are choosing to breastfeed their new babies when they leave the hospital. Unfortunately, those numbers go way down once baby is 6 months or a year old.

The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least one year of nursing. Here are a few of the most important things a mom can do if she wants to breastfeed to that one year mark - and beyond.

1. Find support early on - this means during your pregnancy if possible. Attend a breastfeeding support group meeting like those held by your local La Leche League group, or meet with a lactation consultant. Don't wait too long to get the help you need if you start experiencing problems. Remember that most problems can be overcome with small adjustments in positioning and latch on.

2. Nurse early and often - try to nurse the baby in the first two hours after birth if at all possible. Babies are in a "quiet, alert" state during this time and then fall asleep for several hours, typically. If a first relaxed nursing session can happen early on, mom and baby will have an easier time later.

3. Be strict about positioning - don't be afraid to unlatch baby and latch him back on if you're uncomfortable. Get cozy and use lots of pillows if you need to so that baby is lifted up so you don't have to lean over and don't have to hunch your shoulders. Remember to keep baby facing you, tummy to tummy.

4. Listen to the baby - don't limit the baby's time at the breast in the early days. Frequent nursing in the early weeks does a lot to ensure a healthy milk supply.

5. Avoid "triple nipple syndrome" - don't introduce a pacifier or bottle early on. While some babies can switch back and forth easily, some can't and will start to refuse the breast.

6. Learn how to nurse in public - A baby sling carrier and a nursing bra can make this easier. Practice latching baby on in front of a mirror so you can be comfortable getting baby arranged discreetly.

7. Remember Dad - get Dad on your side and get him involved in baby's care. Sometimes Dads or other people who will be caring for the baby can be a little jealous that you're the only one who feeds him. Make sure he knows how important he is to you and the baby, and help him appreciate the many things he can do to comfort and care for your little one.

8. Relax and enjoy your baby - enjoy nursing sessions with your baby and take the time to really savor your baby. These moments pass so fast, even though feeding him sometimes seems to take forever! The secret to breastfeeding is to trust yourself and your baby and commit to the experience.
About the Author
You can find a comfortable nursing bra that is also feminine and pretty at Nursing Bras.
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