10 Tips for Breastfeeding Success

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10 Tips for Breastfeeding Success

March 31, 2016

When I was pregnant, I thought about a lot of things. I considered home birth versus hospital birth. I was nervous about labor and delivery. I even wondered if I was qualified to be left in charge of a human being for 18 years! I never once worried about breastfeeding. After I had my little one, I realized just how difficult breastfeeding can be! Even though it’s the most natural thing and the best way to feed your baby, breastfeeding is no small feat! That’s why it’s important that new moms understand breastfeeding, the struggles surrounding it and how to overcome them. Start with these tips for breastfeeding success.

  1. Do Your Research before Your Baby Comes

Research breastfeeding and know what to expect before your baby even comes. Talk to experienced moms who have gone through things like clogged milk ducts and mastitis. Reach out to a lactation consultant. Your pediatrician can probably give the name of a reputable one. You could also sit in on a Le Leche League meeting where moms go to receive help while breastfeeding their babies.

  1. Ask Dad for Help

Involve your partner. Dads love to be involved in anything they can when the baby comes. Ask him to be with you while you meet with a lactation consultant. During the days of little sleep, diaper changes and feedings, it’s easy to forget everything the consultant tells you to do when it comes to breastfeeding. Dad can help out by reminding you of tips and tricks when you are struggling to breastfeed.

  1. A Good Latch is Key

As long as your baby is latching well, breastfeeding shouldn’t be too difficult. Position your baby correctly to encourage a good latch. Remember: tummy to mummy. Your baby’s belly should be touching yours so he doesn’t have to turn his head to nurse. Make sure your nipple is towards the roof of his mouth and that his mouth is full. A good latch means you shouldn’t feel any pain. It may be uncomfortable at first, but breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.

  1. Don’t Give Up

I was always told to push through the first two weeks. The first couple weeks of breastfeeding is always the hardest. Your nipples will be sore, you will be sleep deprived and, at times, you see similarities between yourself and a cow. It will get better. Just keep telling yourself that.

  1. Find the Right Position for You

All mommies and babies are different when it comes to feeding position. The most common position is the cradle hold. If you had a C-section, it may be easiest for you to lie on your side and nurse your baby. This relieves you from putting any pressure on your midsection.

  1. Don’t Let Your Baby Fall Asleep Nursing

Newborns are sleepy. In fact, new babies can sleep up to a total of 18 hours per day. He shouldn’t be sleeping while you nurse, though. Your baby needs to eat, so you should do your best to keep him awake while he nurses. Tickle his toes or change his diaper in between sides to keep him awake and alert.

  1. Boost Your Milk Supply

Keep your milk supply up by eating healthy and nursing whenever you can. If you are unable to nurse or you go back to work, pump your breastmilk. Pumping breastmilk can relieve pain or pressure you feel from not emptying your breasts. Pumping can also help you maintain your milk supply when you are back at your job or away from your baby.

  1. Use the Right Tools

Utilize the tools that will make breastfeeding easier. Lanolin cream works wonders on sore nipples! A nursing pillow can help you find a comfortable nursing position. An app like Feed Baby can help you remember which side your baby should nurse from. Also, get a double electric pump. Your health insurance should pay for a breast pump, so get the best one you can buy! The right tools can make all the difference.

  1. Avoid Bottles and Pacifiers at First

If your baby is having trouble latching on at first, try to avoid bottles and pacifiers. Bottles make babies lazy eaters. So if you’re planning on breastfeeding, you want your baby to get used to working hard for her food! This way, she’ll drain your breast of milk and get all the food she needs!

  1. Relax!

It’s so important to relax when you are breastfeeding. The few weeks following the birth of your child are a whirlwind and a little overwhelming at times. Unfortunately, stress can hinder your milk supply. Take deeps breaths before you nurse. Enjoy cuddling with your new baby and don’t stress about anything! The dishes and laundry will always be there, but these precious moments with your newborn don’t last forever.

If you’re struggling with breastfeeding or if you have concerns talk to a lactation consultant or pediatrician. It can be difficult at first, but absolutely worth it in the end!

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