Last updated: March 17. 2013 3:04AM - 273 Views

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Info for moms who decide to nurse infants

An understanding of an infant's breastfeeding patterns can reassure a mother that her breast milk alone can satisfy her baby's need for comfort and nutrition.

Nursing in response to baby's hunger cues can comfort the infant while increasing a mother's milk supply.

These frequent feedings help to sustain exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Human milk is easily digested so it is common for full-term newborns to feed every two to three hours, around the clock. This feeding pattern will change as he or she grows.

A mother may have just put her little one down to sleep with a full belly and hear the sounds lip smacking, and gentle squirming. Some infants have a preference for cluster feeding.

This is a series of nursing contacts interrupted by only brief pauses for dozing in the comfort of mother's arms. These cluster feeds may then be followed by a longer span of sleep for the infant.

Or an infant may experience frequency days. This series of two or three days of marathon nursing has the miraculous effect of stepping up a mother's milk supply to correspond with the infant's nutritional needs in a hurry.

To address concerns regarding milk supply and an infant's feeding pattern or for assistance and solutions specific to a situation contact The Luzerne County Breastfeeding Coalition 570-808-5534.

The Coalition is comprised of representatives from Northeastern Pennsylvania whose mission is to establish breastfeeding as the cultural norm in our community by advocating the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding.

Local hospitals, lactation consultants, Maternal and Family Health Services, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Early Head Start, Nurse Family Partnership, and La Leche League, sit on this coalition and new members are welcome.

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Letters to the editor must include the writer's name, address and daytime phone number for verification. Letters should be no more than 250 words. We reserve the right to edit and limit writers to one published letter every 30 days.

• Email: mailbag@timesleader.com

• Fax: 570-829-5537

• Mail: Mail Bag, The Times Leader, 15 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 1871 1

Karen L. Shaw, Member Luzerne County Breastfeeding Coalition Greater Pittston La Leche League Falls

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