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Home » News & Events » Teresa Mark, MD Provider Pearl – “Breastfeeding basics”

Teresa Mark, MD Provider Pearl – “Breastfeeding basics”

By Teresa Mark, MD

As pediatricians we encourage breastfeeding for at least the 1st year of life. It provides
nutritional, health and immune benefits. It is the natural way to feed a baby but it frequently
does NOT feel natural, especially at the beginning. Give yourself a little grace and don’t be
afraid to ask for help if needed. It’s hard work! And if it turns out that other ways of feeding are
needed temporarily or long term, you are not a failure!  Just a few tips and thoughts to help:

Before the baby is born:

Breastfeeding Basics.
  • If you can take a breastfeeding class either in person or online I would recommend it. If not at least try to find some videos to watch regarding how to latch and hold a baby while nursing. 
  • If you are able to get your pump beforehand, familiarize yourself with the parts and sterilize those parts that need to be cleaned. Having a clean bottle with a slow flow nipple ready to go is also a good idea just in case it is needed. 
  • Set up a comfortable nursing area – a comfy chair with good support for yourself (a recliner or
    rocker is nice), a place to put your snacks and hydration and access to your phone charger. 
  • Other supplies to consider: nursing pads, nursing bras, nipple creams/balms, nursing pillow
    After the baby is born:
  • Unless there are medical reasons that prevent it, get that baby skin to skin and try to latch as
    soon as possible. 
  • Newborns and young infants nurse 8-12 times per day on average but periods of cluster
    feeding are normal. Try to offer both breasts with each feed. 
  • Nursing (or pumping) moms, remember to feed and hydrate yourself. Make water readily
    available to yourself through the day and try to drink some each time your nurse/pump.
  • Get rest when you can (easier said than done!). If you are nursing directly, only the
    breastfeeding parent can do that feeding but you can then hand the baby off to your partner or
    family in between feeds to try to get a little rest. Let others do the changing, washing, cleaning
    and cooking!

    If you’re worried things are not going well, it’s okay to ask for help. Talk to your pediatrician or
    consult with a lactation specialist. Take advantage of the nurses and lactation support available
    in the hospital. After discharge you can still contact lactation support or could seek out private
    lactation consultation.

The bivalent COVID vaccine (also known as the Omicron variant COVID-19 vaccine) is now approved for all ages 6 months or over.

What this may mean for your child/children:

1) If they have received the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine already, then you are considered fully vaccinated at this point.

2) If your child is between 6 months and 5 years old, and have either not started the vaccine series, or have only partially completed the series, they will need to receive the bivalent vaccine(s) to complete that series.

3) If your child is 5 years or older and has never received the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, they likely have some antibody protection to COVID-19 and need just a single bivalent vaccine to be considered completely vaccinated.

If you have any questions about your child’s COVID-19 vaccine needs, please contact our office. You can contact our office at Towson by calling (410) 494-1369 or our Foundry Row location at (410) 526-7993.