Meeting national breast-feeding objectives and mothers' personal breast-feeding goals depends on a number of factors, including the provision of current, consistent, and timely help with breast-feeding. Nurses are in a prime position to guide mothers during their hospital stay and provide community follow-up postdischarge. Mothers and infants need to acquire a set of breast-feeding skills prior to hospital discharge so that a mother goes home confident that she can adequately nourish her infant, initiate and maintain an abundant milk supply, avoid problems, and address them if they occur. This article describes strategies for optimizing breast-feeding during the first 48 hours and delineates what mothers need to know before they leave the hospital.
From the National Alliance for Breast-feeding Advocacy, Weston, Mass.
Corresponding author: Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC, National Alliance for Breast-feeding Advocacy, 254 Conant Rd, Weston, MA 02493 (e-mail: Marshalact@aol.com).
The author has no conflict of interest.
Submitted for publication: December 19, 2006
Accepted for publication: April 10, 2007