Tips to help increase the chance of breastfeeding success

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(Source: Getty) (Source: Getty)

By Dr. Sharon Thompson, MD, MPH, FACOG

(3TV/CBS 5) - A woman's ability to grow new humans and feed them from her body is a real-life superpower.

Most women make milk when pregnant and are physically capable of breastfeeding according to recommendations. The benefits of breastfeeding to mom and baby are well known. 

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Unfortunately, there are many barriers for a mother who desires to breastfeed including millions of advertising dollars spent to make substitutes seem better; hospital policies that interfere with the bonding period immediately after birth; early return to work; social stigma on breastfeeding in public.

As a result, many women report breastfeeding less than they had intended. 

Here are a few things that can help increase the chance of breastfeeding success. 

  • Take the "Golden Hour": skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth uninterrupted for one hour.
  • Get help from a lactation consultant early on.
  • Decrease guests (limit visits) in the immediate postpartum period.
  • Support from family and friends to take care of the household so the new mother can focus on breastfeeding.
  • Workplace policies that support breastfeeding moms.
  • Drop all or none thinking exclusive breastfeeding is desired but may not be possible for many.
  • Leave the guilt behind. Breastfeeding is learned behavior for moms and babies. Commit every day to do the best you can .

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