Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- When should we decide about breastfeeding?
- Why is the choice so important?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of formula feeding?
- Can we use both forms of feedings for our baby?
- Is there any special preparation required for breastfeeding?
- When can breastfeeding begin?
- What is the proper technique for breastfeeding?
- When should breast pumps be used?
- Should certain foods be avoided while breastfeeding?
- How can one manage minor discomforts related to breastfeeding?
- Clogged milk ducts
- Sore nipples
- When should one seek medical care for problems with breastfeeding?
- Can supplements or medications increase a low milk supply?
- Is it possible to breastfeed while pregnant?
- Is smoking harmful when breastfeeding?
- Do breast implants, surgeries, or reductions affect breastfeeding?
- How should one wean a baby from breastfeeding?
- Breastfeeding and Formula Feeding At A Glance
Is there any special preparation required for breastfeeding?
Education about the benefits and practice of breastfeeding are keys to optimal preparation. Your local hospital may offer breastfeeding classes as part of the childbirth class, or you can join your local La Leche League or other breastfeeding support group. These classes can put you in touch with a lactation specialist who may later be your personal breastfeeding consultant. These classes can also help you to learn proper positioning and latch-on techniques.
Contrary to some popular beliefs, it is not necessary to stimulate or prepare the nipples in advance for breastfeeding. Moreover, some techniques of stimulating the nipples may actually be harmful.
No specific physical preparation is necessary for optimal breastfeeding. General good health measures and adequate hydration are helpful measures. Most doctors recommend continuing basic prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding.
When can breastfeeding begin?
Breastfeeding can begin within minutes after birth for most babies. Most babies take a few licks or sucks and then pause at the beginning. Frequent bursts of sucking interrupted by pauses is the usual pattern for the first few hours and sometimes even the first few days.
The first milk the mother produces, called colostrum, is the best food for a newborn. The nipple stimulation that occurs during breastfeeding also helps the uterus contract and can help stop uterine bleeding.
When a baby begins to open its eyes, look around, and put his or her fist into his or her mouth, then it is time to offer your breast. Breastfeeding experts recommend that the baby not be given sugar water or other types of bottle feedings in the hospital unless specifically prescribed by the doctor.
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