The following excerpt has been borrowed from The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Knowing how to handle nursery time after your precious baby is born is a very important topic to be clear on before your baby arrives. Check out what LLL has to say about it here:
In the hospital your constant refrain should be that you do not want your baby to be given any artificial nipples, especially bottles of water or formula and you do want to be able to breastfeed him often. This is very important because artificial nipples and supplementary formula are the greatest deterrents to establishing a good milk supply. Frequent nursing will also help to prevent jaundice in your newborn. Your milk is regulated by what your baby takes, and the more he nurses, the more milk your breasts produce. if your baby is given formula, he will take less from the breast. Also, your baby will be confused if he is given an artificial nipple.
A baby is particularly vulnerable to nipple confusion in the first few days because he is learning how to suck properly. A baby uses his tongue, jaws, and mouth differently when sucking on an artificial nipple. If he is given bottles or other artificial nipples at this point, it may be a long hard struggle before he learns to breastfeed effectively.
If you do not have rooming-in, be sure to let everyone know that you want your baby brought to you as often as he wants to be fed. This should be at least every two hours during the day and whenever he wakes at night. Babies need to be fed at night and if your newborn is not brought to you, he may be receiving a bottle of water or formula in the nursery.
Problems caused by hospital routines can often be avoided if it is possible for you to room-in with your baby. Rooming-in allows you to have your baby in your room for all or most of the time. You care for the baby, and others care for you.
Don't forget that this Thursday evening (13th) at 6:30, Educated Mommy hosts Sioux Falls' La Leche League, and all breastfeeding (or soon-to-be breastfeeding) moms are welcome!