Encourage breastfeeding exclusively for 4 to 6 months.
The amount of milk you produce depends directly on how often and how long your baby nurses. A reasonable goal is to nurse the baby whenever he or she is hungry. This may occur 10 or more times per 24 hours during the first few weeks after birth. Newborns who sleep for more than 3 to 4 hours may need to be awakened for feeding if they are not gaining weight and have little urine and stool output.
You know your baby is getting milk if milk leaks from the alternate breast when you're nursing, you hear your baby swallow, or the baby has six to eight wet diapers and at least one dirty diaper a day.
Relax and find a comfortable place to feed, and enjoy your baby.
Avoid supplemental feedings of formula or water.
Discuss strategies for maintaining healthy breasts: frequent nursing, proper positioning, using a finger to break suction before removing the infant from the breast, and identification of early signs of mastitis to permit rapid treatment. Explain that some nipple tenderness may occur at the beginning of the feed during the first 2 weeks but that it is usually not long lasting.
Teach all breastfeeding mothers how to express milk manually Demonstrate the use of pumps if indicated.
Reaffirm that the mother is doing something really important for her baby.
If a multivitamin/mineral supplement was prescribed during pregnancy consider continued use of it during lactation. (See supplement chart, Tab 1.)
Check the mother's understanding of instructions about getting help with breastfeeding if questions or problems arise.