that Improve LAM
Optimal breastfeeding is the key to successful LAM. The suggestions below maximize the health and nutrition benefits of breastfeeding and improve LAM.
- After delivery, begin breastfeeding as soon as the newborn is alert. Allow the infant to remain with the mother for at least several hours. Preferably, the infant will room-in with the mother.
- Breastfeed frequently whenever the baby is hungry, both day and night. During the first few weeks, this may be every two-three hours, sometimes even more. Signs of hunger besides crying include snuggling or rooting at the breast, making sucking sounds, or sucking on the hands.
- Breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. Breastmilk is all a baby needs to eat or drink until about six months.
- Start giving the baby other foods at about six months. At each feeding, breastfeed first then give other foods and liquids.
- Continue breastfeeding for up to two years or more. Breastmilk continues to provide important immunities, is still good food, and keeps protecting your baby from diseases.
- Avoid using bottles or pacifiers. The artificial nipple may confuse the baby, particularly in the early weeks, and also may pass germs and bacteria if not cleaned properly. They also may reduce an infant's desire to suck at the breast.
- Breastfeeding should continue even if the mother or baby becomes ill. The nutrients and immunological protection provided by breastfeeding are even more important when the mother or baby is ill. However, if the mother has a potentially terminal, transmittable disease--such as AIDS or active tuberculosis--she should consult her health care provider for advice.
Women who are breastfeeding need to satisfy their own hunger and thirst and get rest when possible. No special food is required to create good quality milk and no foods are forbidden.
Family Planning for the Breastfeeding Woman
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about LAM
This page was adapted from the original web site of the Institute for Reproductive Health, a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of Cooperative Agreement DPE-3061-A-00-1029-00. Information (photos excluded) and publications may be reproduced, adapted, and disseminated without permission, provided the Institute for Reproductive Health is acknowledged and the material is distributed free of charge, or not for profit.
The LAM section was originally developed by Shirley Coly.