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Establishment of breastfeeding

Establishing: four days to eight weeks

This stage is when you are likely to be back home and continuing to establish breastfeeding.

Establishment of breastfeeding includes:

  • learning how to breastfeed successfully with the support and advice from your lead maternity carer and others
  • maintaining your good health (including nutrition and rest)
  • getting support and advice from your lead maternity carer to overcome any breastfeeding problems
  • developing problem-solving skills to maintain confidence to breastfeed
  • continuing the commitment to make breast milk the only food and drink for baby
  • enjoying the breastfeeding experience and your closeness to baby.

During this period you are likely to face some challenges including:

  • tiredness
  • pain (including experiences of mastitis, cracked nipples, and breast engorgement)
  • difficulty with latching
  • perceived or actual lack of milk, and/or baby’s perceived or actual hunger
  • balancing the demands of other children
  • lack of health service and family/wh?nau support.

At around six weeks, there is a transition of care from your LMC to Well Child/Tamariki Ora.

Why keep breastfeeding up to 8 weeks?

  • Breast milk continues to protect baby from infections.
  • Breast milk gives food and fluid for baby in the most easily digested way.
  • Baby’s organs are still very immature and not ready for other foods.
  • Milk composition and supply matches baby’s changing needs.
  • Breastfeeding helps bond with baby.
  • No need to prepare bottles for night feeds.
  • It’s cheaper.
  • Breastfeeding during immunisations provides pain relief for babies.

Remember any breastfeeding is good for a baby, so if you’ve made it this far, you’re doing well.

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