Disclosure: This post is part our series in observance of World Breastfeeding Week and is sponsored by Woman’s Hospital.
Give Me 3! Woman’s Initiative to Help Breastfeeding Moms
While breastfeeding may be a natural activity, it doesn’t always come naturally. After all, if you’re a new mom that’s never breastfed before, and your new baby hasn’t eaten before, things can quickly become overwhelming. So the idea of six months of exclusive breastfeeding as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) can seem like a daunting and lofty goal. To help make the transition easier, Woman’s Hospital has started the Give Me 3! initiative, which helps new moms focus only on the first three days postpartum.
“We know that new moms have a lot going on and we want them to feel better and more confident in their abilities to successfully breastfeed their new baby,” says Leah Terrell, Mother/Baby Department Nurse Manager. “Give Me 3! hopes to ease the burden of exclusive breastfeeding by helping moms focus on the first three days and those three days only.”
Give Me 3! is simple, asking new moms to give her baby three days of exclusive breastfeeding, which can:
Set the foundation for long-term breastfeeding success. Future success with breastfeeding greatly depends on what is done during the first few weeks after delivery. It is best to try to breastfeed within the first hour after giving birth, helping the baby to latch using the “chin-to-breast, chest-to-chest” method.
Provide baby optimal nutrition through frequent feeding. It is important to remember that babies do not eat on a schedule, and breast milk is produced on a supply and demand basis; this means the more you breastfeed, the more breast milk your body will make. Remember to watch your baby, not the clock, allowing your baby to set the feeding pace and to feed until he is finished.
Allow colostrum to transition to mature breast milk. A newborn needs very little breast milk for the first three to four days of life. Your baby will get colostrum from your breast initially, which provides him not only the nutrients needed, but also many immunity and health benefits. On average, you can expect your colostrum to transition to mature milk within the first three days or so after delivery.
Achieve long term health benefits for mom and baby. Breast milk is rich in nutrients and antibodies, which can help protect your baby against future illnesses and diseases. Breastfeeding also promotes a unique and emotional connection between you and your baby, which can help reduce the chances of postpartum depression, along with helping you heal faster following delivery.
Allow staff to provide support and assistance during the hospital stay. To give you and your baby the best chance of successful breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Getting help early when you first experience difficulties, can help make breastfeeding easier later on.
“We understand the pressures of being a new mom and the differences between the expectations and realities of day-to-day life,” says Terrell, “That’s why we started Give Me 3!, to help reduce those feelings of anxiety and stress. We want moms to be successful, and we know they can with a little help and encouragement.”
Breastfeeding can be tough, especially in the beginning; but with patience, effort, and lots of support, both you and your baby will get the hang of it. Want to know the best part of it all? Your baby will thrive on your milk and the cuddly closeness that breastfeeding offers. Trust us, and trust your body. You can do it!
Woman’s Hospital is one of the first specialty hospitals for women and infants. Since opening in 1968, it has welcomed more than 300,000 babies, making it one of the largest delivery services in the country and the largest in Louisiana. Additionally, Woman’s operates the highest-level neonatal intensive care unit in the state and cares for infants who are extremely premature, are critically ill or require surgical intervention. The hospital is also recognized for its expertise in mammography as well as breast and gynecologic cancer care. As a private, nonprofit organization, all funds are reinvested into the hospital to continue Woman’s mission to improve the health of women and infants through the latest technology, a highly qualified staff and critical community programs and services. For more information, visit www.womans.org.