WIC Breastfeeding Connections
Deciding how you are going to feed your baby is one of the most important decisions you will have to make as a new parent. Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby and we are here to support you along your breastfeeding journey. Remember, your body nourished your baby continuously in utero so the concept of being hungry is new to your baby. Breastfeeding will be a learning experience for both of you.
Some women look forward to the chance to breastfeed and have a support system that will allow them to feel confident. Other women may worry, especially if they don't have the support of their families and friends.
This website is intended to be a resource for you to get answers to your questions and address your concerns.
For further information please visit https://www.health.ny.gov/community/pregnancy/breastfeeding/
Award a place or person that has been supportive!
Nominate an individual or business for a breastfeeding friendly award by https://forms.chemungcountyny.gov/ttbn/
What is a Peer Counselor?
WIC Peer Counselors are moms just like you. They know what it is like to be a new mom and understand that motherhood is different for everyone. They have breastfed their babies and have had questions and concerns throughout their breastfeeding experience just like you. They are good listeners who can identify with mothers and their concerns. They make sure that you never feel alone and always have someone to talk to. They have been trained to help solve breastfeeding concerns and to know when medical attention is necessary. They are able to provide basic breastfeeding information to pregnant and nursing women. They are on call day and night either to speak to directly or communicate through texts. Call us at 607-737-2039 to be put in touch with a Peer Counselor.
Can My Baby's Father Still Be Involved?
Many dad’s feel that if their baby is breastfed they will be left out. This is NOT true. If you are worried about being a good father you are not alone! There are other dad’s who feel the same way. Talk to people you know or take a parenting class. You will learn to be a good father by daily on the job training and by helping and showing your love.
There are many ways the father can be involved this including:
- Holding, rocking, cuddling, and comforting your baby
- Helping with meals and housework
- Bathing or changing your baby’s diaper
- Encourage mom by telling her you are proud of her and she is doing the best for your baby
- Bring the baby to mom in the middle of the night
- IF mom does pump give your baby the bottle
- Burp your baby after he eats
- Take your baby for a walk so mom can get some rest
- If you have other children spend extra time with them to make sure they don’t feel left out
- Be patient and understanding
What Is The Difference Between Breastmilk And Formula?
Breastmilk is always changing to meet the needs of your baby. When you are exposed to illness the antibodies pass from the breastmilk directly to your baby. The various foods you eat change the flavor of your milk exposing your baby to different tastes. The living cells, antibodies, germ fighting proteins, carbohydrates, and enzymes cannot be packaged in a can.
~ Breastmilk is your baby’s first immunization and the longer you breastfeed the more protection your baby will receive
~ Formula cannot do what mom can do for her baby.
~ Give your baby the gift of health
Germ Fighting Proteins/Carbohydrates
Protein (commercially processed from cow’s milk)
Fats (commercially processed from coconut fat and other oils)
Vitamins (commercially processed)
Minerals (commercially processed)
Nucleotides (commercially processed from yeast)
DHA/ARA (commercially processed from algae and fungus)
What Are The Benefits Of Breastfeeding?
Colostrum is the first milk your baby gets! It is yellow in color and is thick in consistency. Your new baby needs to eat small amounts often and colostrum is made in small amounts. You may not even notice the colostrum this does not mean it isn't there!!!
Benefits of colostrum:
- Perfect for baby's nutrition
- It prepares baby's system for healthy digestion
- Helps babies pass their first bowel movement
- Full of antibodies that fight germs
- Builds immunity
** Some moms think they aren't able to produce breastmilk because they don't see milk right away. This is normal. Milk volume increases around day 3-5 and milk is actually being produced around week 10-14 weeks' gestation.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
|Benefits for Babies (Emotional)|
- Reduce frustration because hunger can be satisfied immediately
|Benefits for Babies (Physical)|
- Breastmilk is the only food babies need for the first 6 months
|Benefits for Mothers (Emotional)||- Breastmilk is a very special gift for your baby that only you can provide|
- The hormones released during breastfeeding relax both mothers and babies
- The mother's confidence is enhanced by her ability to meet the needs of her baby, satisfying his/her hunger, and comforting him/her when fussy or ill
- The closeness afforded by breastfeeding increases mother's awareness of their babies needs enhancing the bonding between them
|Benefits for Mothers (Physical)||- Breastfeeding after delivery reduces the risk of hemorrhaging because oxytocin (one of the hormones stimulated by suckling) contract the uterus|
- Breastfeeding makes it easier for mothers to lsoe the weight they put on during pregnancy
- Night feedings are easier and less disruptive
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of some forms of breast cancer
- It helps mom's get back in shape by burning 500 calories a day
|Benefits for Families||- Breastfed babies are healthier and require fewer doctor visits|
- No costly formula and no bottles to wash, prepare, and store
- Breastfeeding moms are more relaxed and less hassled
- Breastmilk is always the perfect temperature
- Babies needs are met quickly reduce family stress
- Breastfeeding saves time and money
- Breastfeeding is environmentally friendly
- It does not go bad or spoil
- There are never recalls on your breastmilk
Does Breast Size Matter?
The size of the breast is determined by the amount of fatty tissue which has no effect on milk production or the quality of milk produced.
How Do I Get Breastfeeding Off To A Good Start?
Your hospital stay:
- Skin to skin (kangaroo care) as soon as possible after birth put baby to your chest and let your baby's instincts help guide you both. Skin to skin helps babies stay warmer, calmer, and helps to stabilize blood sugars.
- Rooming In- Keep your baby in the same room with you so you can observe feeding cues
- Minimize the amount of visitors at the hospital
- Minimize the use of bottles & pacifiers
- If you have questions DON'T WAIT!!!!! Ask the lactation consultant at the hospital or a WIC Peer Counselor. Often your small question or concern can be addressed and remedied before it turns into a big problem.
Click to view: Hand Expression of Breastmilk
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Hungry?
· Watch for your baby’s feeding cues:
- Sucking on hands, fingers, lips while asleep, or just waking up
- Moving hands and arms toward mouth
- Restless movement while asleep
- Sucking noises
- “Rooting” or searching for your nipple
- Rapid eye movement under his eyelids
Crying is a late sign of hunger. Try not to let your baby get to this point as it becomes more difficult for your baby to latch and feed. Humans don’t learn well when they are angry and this can interfere with the nursing session.
When you first put baby to the breast you will notice rapid sucking in order to release the milk. When the milk lets down the baby will do longer sucks and you may see or hear your baby swallow. You will know your baby is satisfied when he comes off the breast or falls asleep and hands are relaxed and open. When your baby comes off the breast you can burp, change, or stimulate your baby and offer the other breast.
Will WIC Provide Me With A Breast Pump?
Breast pumps will be loaned to WIC participants based on need and availability. Call your local WIC office to see if one is available at 607-737-2039.
How Long Should A Feeding Last?
Each feeding will vary. It depends on your baby. The important thing is that you watch your baby, not the clock, for signs that he is eating and content. Nurse on one side until your baby lets you know he is full. You will know your baby is full is full when he:
Falls off the breast and releases your nipple
Relaxes his body and opens his fists.
At this point try burping him and changing his diaper. He may wake up enough to offer the other breast. If he doesn't don't worry! Just start with the breast he didn't nurse on at the next feeding. If he nursed on both breasts begin nursing on the breast that feels most full.
How Often Should I Feed My Baby?
Babies have small stomachs so they need frequent feedings. They should eat 8-12 times a day which equals about every 1-3 hours. However, it is important that you feed your baby on demand and NOT watch the clock. You would eat if you were hungry and babies like to snack just like adults. The average adult puts something in their mouth (food or drink) every 90 minutes.
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Getting Enough?
You know your baby is getting enough when he:
· Is gaining weight. Your baby should return to his birthweight by 2 weeks of age. Then he should gain about 4-8 ounces a week for the first 6 months. Keep in mind these are ONLY guidelines.
· Is content after feedings
· Has plenty of wet and dirty diapers
Number of Wet Diapers
Number of Dirty Diapers
greenish to yellow seedy
Who Can I Call For Help?
WIC staff can be reached at (607)737-2039
Twin Tier Breastfeeding Network
Katrina Kelly, CLC, call 607-737-2039, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacqueline Shubuck, IBCLC, call 607-735-5717
Whitt's End Jenn Witt - (607) 738-2091