Kangaroo or skin-to-skin care
- Skin-to-skin care was developed in Bogotá, Colombia because there weren't enough incubators for preemies. The babies held skin-to-skin did better than the babies in incubators!
- Babies are calmer if they are held skin-to-skin by their parents.
- Mothers who practice skin-to-skin make more milk.
- Babies who spend time skin-to-skin with their parents grow better and learn to feed faster.
- The staff will let you know when your baby is ready to start skin-to-skin.
- Once you start, hold your baby skin-to-skin every day - the more time, the better.
- Try wearing a button-down shirt, loose blouse, or a stretchy camisole.
- Skin-to-skin is best done with a lot of skin contact, so removing your bra and having your baby only in a diaper is best.
- Keeping the baby's clothing simple (such as onsies or sacks that open at the bottom with not a lot of snaps or decorations) will help you have more skin-to-skin contact, as well as allow the nurses to assess your baby and safely monitor tubes or IV's.
- Don't be shy! Ask your nurse to help you pick up your baby for skin-to-skin time!
To make the most milk for your baby
- It is important to empty your breasts completely every time you pump so that your milk production stays high.
- If your breasts get too full and hard in the first 2 weeks, you could have a low milk supply later.
- Check to make sure your pump is working well. (You can ask the lactation consultant or your nurse to check it, too.)
- Be sure you are pumping both breasts at the same time.
- Most women get more milk from one breast than the other, so don't worry if there is a small difference - it is totally normal.
- Review your pumping schedule. (Are you pumping 15-20 minutes more than 6 times a day?)
- Do you have any pain when pumping? Let us know so we can help with your pain.
- Make sure you are pumping at least 1 time at night because it makes a real difference in helping you produce more milk for your baby.
- Remember to keep pumping for 2-3 minutes after you start to see your milk flow slowing down.
- Consider trying more manual expression/massage along with pumping.
- Relax while you pump by thinking of your baby, looking at his/her picture, smelling a blanket that he/she used.
- Try pumping at your baby's bedside.
- Let your nurse or lactation consultant know if you are having any problems, pain, or have seen even a small decrease in your milk supply.
The Chester County Hospital Lactaction Consultants: 610.738.2582
Last Updated: 6/23/2011