Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms With Loyola Health System's Dr. Kimi Suh - Part 2 by Donna John
Breastfeeding can be challenging! Dr. Kimi Suh, a family physician with Loyola University Health System and a mom of two, joined us recently for two nights to share what you should know as you prepare – or continue – to breastfeed your baby! Here’s more advice from Dr. Suh to help you achieve breastfeeding bliss! (Read Part 1 here!)
Q: Why do moms give up on breastfeeding if it’s supposed to be so natural?
As with anything, there are exceptions to the rule. There are many challenges to breastfeeding. Moms may have problems with her nipples or milk supply or babies may struggle with latching on. Breastfeeding requires social support to help moms. Without support, it may be hard to breastfeed. Many things can get in the way of breastfeeding, including complications with labor and delivery. Many moms struggle to maintain breastfeeding when they return to work for many reasons. Illinois law states that employers must provide time/space (besides bathroom stall) for moms to express breastmilk.
Q: I feel pressure to breastfeed but am concerned I won’t be able to. What should I do?
Most important thing to remember is your skill at being a mom is not measured by your ability to breastfeed. Try your best to breastfeed and seek out additional resources for help and support. If it doesn’t work out, you’re still able to love and nurture your baby in a million other ways. Surround yourself with positive, supportive, non-judgmental people, especially immediately postpartum.
Q. What are the health benefits of breastfeeding for me as a mom?
Moms benefit from breastfeeding in many ways. It increases Mom’s bond with Baby; great for both. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce risk of breast/ovarian cancer and heart disease in women. Breastfeeding can help moms to lose weight because it burns calories. Breastfeeding can result in big financial savings because formula is so expensive. Breastfeeding can result in fewer illnesses for babies; extremely beneficial for the entire family.
Q. What are some health benefits of breastfeeding for my baby?
Babies benefit from increased bond with their moms. Breastmilk is perfectly designed to be digested in your baby’s stomach, resulting in less gas and constipation. Mom passes her immunity from certain illness to Baby, so breastfed babies may have fewer doctor visits. This leads to less need for medications, procedures and hospitalizations. Breastfeeding may help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and obesity.
Q: I want my husband to feel a part of the newborn experience. How do we do that if breastfeeding?
There are many ways for Dad to feel a part of the newborn experience. First, he can support you as much as possible during the breastfeeding experience. Keeping you company, bringing you water/snacks during nursing is extremely helpful. Newborns may need help staying awake for nursing. Dad can tickle Baby’s feet or rub Baby’s head. Dad can change diapers after Mom is done nursing. Dad can rock and hold Baby in between nursing, leaving plenty of opportunities for bonding.
Q: Is there anything breastmilk lacks?
Breastmilk contains all nutrients needed for Baby, but babies do require supplementation with 400 international units per day of vitamin D. If Baby has any special needs (like being born prematurely), Baby may require additional supplementation. That’s regardless of whether he or she is breastfeeding or formula feeding.