When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Come Naturally

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Despite the best intentions, it often takes a village to support a mom. More women are giving it a try and many are running into roadblocks.

“Sometimes breastfeeding comes very easily to the new mom and baby. But sometimes it’s a learned process,” says Carol Lawrence, who is the lactation supervisor with Lee Memorial Health System.

At Lee Memorial Health System, lactation consultants visit each new mom in the hospital.

“We do rounds and see all moms who have chosen to breastfeed or provide breast milk to their baby. If they need assistance in positioning the baby, latching the baby on, we provide that assistance,” says Rhonda Harper, who is a certified lactation consultant with Lee Memorial Health System.

It may seem like the most natural thing in the world, but truth be told, breastfeeding isn’t second nature for every new mom. For best results, they should set the stage for success.

“The baby should primarily be skin-to-skin with the mother from the time it’s born and stable until established breastfeeding,” says Harper.

Another tip is to relax. Avoid overdoing it while you’re getting acquainted with baby. Too much too soon leads to a frustrated mom.

“I encourage them to simplify. Make sure they take naps. Naps are very important, then you tolerate those feedings up at night much better,” says Harper.

Other common issues come later, with moms going back to work. Or when babies experience a growth spurt, feeding more and longer. At any point, help is close at hand.

“She can come to a breastfeeding support group. Meet with other women, learn from their triumphs, learn from their challenges,” says Lawrence.

Providing a guilt-free zone to strengthen new families.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

Visit leememorial.org

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