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How to encourage newborn to breastfeed?

Was born yesterday and have just come home, she was breastfeeding fine at the hospital and seemed to take to it straightaway but since coming home she's just not taking to it at all. And I'm a little worried. Any advice?

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Asked by sarah221 at 10:11 AM on Oct. 28, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (8)
  • just keep putting her to the breast. rubbing her cheek with your nipple will help stimulate her rooting and suckling responses. 2-5 day old babies are sleeeeeeepy a lot of times and it takes some prodding to get them to feed. keep it up, it will be ok.

    Answer by teri4lance at 10:14 AM on Oct. 28, 2008

  • Just stick to it offer the breast often when the baby gets hungery she will eat. Right now the baby is trying to adjust to a new world. She also has a tiny little belly and won't nurse for to long at a time.

    Answer by at 10:17 AM on Oct. 28, 2008

  • Whatever you do do not offer a bottle or pacifier. As pps have said continue to offer the breast. Some of the best times to get baby latched is before signs of hunger and when they are sleepy.  Determination is key.  You CAN do it!!!


    Answer by mama_l at 11:33 AM on Oct. 28, 2008

  • Try kangaroo care... it helps get the baby ready to eat. Undress the baby down to the diaper and place the baby upright on your bare chest... it's okay to cover the back with a blanket.
    If they baby is still sleepy rub the baby's back.. not like you would soothe the baby... but a harder rub that says... wake up!
    And if that fails a cold wash cloth on the feet works well too.
    Once the baby is awake offer the breast. Get the baby to open wide by brushing your nipple on the lips.
    If the baby will latch and not suck try compressing your breast so she can taste the colustrum.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 11:35 AM on Oct. 28, 2008

  • Call your local La Leche League leader, or schedule an appointment with a Lactation Consultant (You want a person with the acronym IBCLC after their name). It's normal for there to be a learning curve once you get home with your baby. The hospital is a controled environment, and you've got help everywhere you look, at home it's just you and baby, and neither one of you is experienced at this yet. Try to stay relaxed, frustration just breeds more frustration. Do you have anyone at home helping you with the baby? A La Leche League Leader should be able to help you, and her services are voluntary.

    Answer by 3maniacsmom at 11:59 AM on Oct. 28, 2008

  • try skin to skin contact. it encourages baby to nurse for longer.
    if she's a sleepy eater you can tickle her feet to try and keep her awake.
    if she's a really sleepy eater you can dab her face with a damp cloth in order to keep her awake.
    a diaper change right before nursing can also get a sleep eater to wake up a bit.
    get in touch with someone who can help you in person. your local LLL should be able to provide you with a leader who will come to your home if needed.
    now for a list of dont's... don't substitute or supplement with formula. don't use a schedule, nurse on demand. don't feel discouraged! you are brand new to this and so is your baby.

    Answer by heatherama at 12:10 PM on Oct. 28, 2008

  • My son is 4 1/2 months now and still BF it can be hard sometimes I wouldn't worry to much as long as she doesn't seem like she is staving or loosing a lot of weight. when you first go home a lot is changing and she can sense this. try not to get stressed out and talking to a Lactation Consultant like the others are saying is a good idea. most of the time they will come right to your home to help you so you don't have any added stress.


    Answer by orion618 at 12:17 PM on Oct. 28, 2008

  • BE PATIENT!! My baby was born three weeks early and the first three weeks after he was born were a nightmare. As long as she's peeing and pooping just keep working at it. Once my baby got the hand of nursing, he really did well. A lactation consultant can really be a huge help. The hospital where I delivered has one and I called her a couple of times after we got home. Have you tried skin to skin? Take all of your baby's clothes off except the diaper (make sure she doesn't get too cold), take off your shirt and bra and lie her on your chest. Then stroke her back from the top of her shoulders down to her diaper. Studies have shown that this can increase alertness and contentment in newborns. Whatever you do, don't give up.

    Answer by Sarabear35 at 1:18 PM on Oct. 30, 2008

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