Our breastfeeding tips will help you achieve your breastfeeding goals. Breastfeeding is a beautiful bonding experience and there are so many health benefits for both momma and baby, so it comes as no surprise that breastfeeding is so highly advocated.
However, the idea of breast feeding may seem daunting to those first-time mommas. It is a completely new experience that you will only be able to really know by doing it, but there are many breastfeeding tips out there that will help prepare you for breastfeeding success.
Breastfeeding tip #1:
Try and Breastfeed Within the First Hour After Baby’s Birth
Breastfeeding right after birth will immediately help your uterus begin to contract and begin returning back to its normal size. In addition to this, breastfeeding within the first hour of birth gives your baby that much needed hit of colostrum. Colostrum is the very first type of milk that comes in after baby is born.
The breasts don’t produce very much of this kind of milk, so you may not even notice that it has come in yet. However, for as little volume that it has, colostrum packs a big punch, providing baby with powerful antibodies and immunoglobulins as soon as he or she enters the world. This will help boost your baby’s immune system and help prevent them from becoming ill as an infant.
Breastfeeding tip #2:
Find the Right Breastfeeding Position
One of the most common mistakes that first-time mommas make when breastfeeding is improper positioning. Not only can this lead to baby not getting as much milk as he or she might need, but it can also lead to soreness and even bruising of the nipple.
One of the most recommended positions for breastfeeding is referred to as cradle nursing. This popular breastfeeding position has momma seated comfortably so that she can bring baby up to her breast while supporting his or her head with her forearm.
There are many different breastfeeding positions that are recommended. It may just take some research and video watching in some cases to discover what works best for you and baby. Breastfeeding isn’t always an intuitive experience and baby’s do have trouble latching frequently, so don’t feel bad if it takes a bit of experimenting to find out what works best for you and your little one.
Breastfeeding tip #3:
Plan on Breastfeeding Every Two Hours When Baby is Born
You should always watch for your baby’s signal when he or she is hungry. The rooting reflex is what most new mommas commonly look for when deciding when baby is ready to feed again. The rooting reflex is when a baby instinctively begins searching for the breast.
You may want to try lightly brushing your hand against the side of baby’s cheek. If he or she, immediately turns toward your hand this may be a sign that he or she is hungry and is searching for the nipple. Normally the baby is ready for his or her next feeding around the two-hour mark, so try and remember that when going out or planning daily tasks. If you find that your baby is hungry a little more or less frequently than that, don’t be alarmed. Every baby is different.
Breastfeeding tip #4:
Get the Best Out of Your Breast Pump
Breast pumps are such a wonderful invention, especially for those working mommas out there; however, if you are new to breastfeeding, they may seem a little intimidating. But, don’t be scared! Your breast pump can be your best friend, if you know what you are doing.
Our Favorite Breast Pump: Medela Pump in Style Advanced
For starters, you are going to want to always start with clean equipment. You will also want to make sure that you have washed your hands and that your breasts are clean as well. You don’t want to be spreading germs around when you are pumping.
Then, make sure you are centering your nipple in the pump. You may have to turn your pump on and off again until you find a position that works best for you. If the position you are currently in is painful, reposition!
From here you will want to try and pump for around five to eight minutes on each breast. If you are having difficulty expressing milk, it may be helpful to take a break and try massaging the breast for a second before returning back to pumping.
Then, give your nipples a chance to breath and try to avoid putting on a bra right after you have finished pumping. You may also find that nipple cream will become a hot commodity.
Breastfeeding tip #5:
Eat Healthy for Your Health
While it isn’t necessary to follow a strict, no-exceptions diet, it is important that you make sure your body is getting the nutrients that it needs. Eating unhealthy foods for a prolonged period of time can affect the quality of your milk, but it also has an effect on your overall health as well.
Our Favorite Breast Feeding Protein Supplement:
When breastfeeding, your body is burning anywhere from 300 to 500 extra calories a day, so you need to make sure you are giving your body the fuel that it needs. If you do not get the proper nutrients, your body will begin drawing from its reserves. In addition to this, your body needs the energy to tackle the task of caring for a newborn baby. You don’t want to add poor nutrition on top of the other stressors on the body such as lack of sleep that often comes after the birth of baby.
It is important; however, that you do not try and go on a crazy diet, or even calorie count, right off the bat after giving birth. Your body does need a chance to heal. Just make sure you are paying attention to your body and eating when you are hungry. Then, when you do eat, make healthy choices.
For instance, instead of just having a cup of coffee for breakfast, try having a bowl of cereal or oatmeal as well. It is also important that you eat from all of the food groups. If eating fruits and veggies just isn’t your thing, maybe try drinking juices such as V8 that have a whole serving of both fruits and vegetables.
Check out our article: 10 tips for loosing weight after pregnancy
Breastfeeding tip #6:
Avoid Nipple Confusion
While breastfeeding can be hectic, and you may find yourself searching for that bottle, it is important that you wait for baby to get the hang of breastfeeding before you try switching to a bottle. When baby is first learning to suckle they will gradually learn how to take the nipple deep into their mouth and then use their tongue to pump milk from the breast. It can take around three weeks for baby to properly get the hang of this, but in some cases, it does take a little bit longer.
The problem with bottles is that gravity works in favor of the baby. It takes very little effort from baby in order to get milk or formula from a bottle. This means that, if you are switching between breastfeeding and bottle too much during the newborn stage, baby may become confused as to how they need to operate their mouth when breastfeeding. This can lead to frustration in both baby and momma, so it is best to just avoid bottles for the first month, if possible.
In addition to avoiding the bottle, it may also be helpful to try and avoid pacifiers as well. If this is not for you, that is totally fine. Some mommas love pacifiers and some don’t; however, if your baby is really struggling with latching properly, you may want to ditch the pacifier. Just like a bottle, sucking on a pacifier is much different than sucking on a nipple, which can lead to confusion.
Breastfeeding tip #7:
Get comfortable while nursing your baby
You are going to be finding yourself nursing quite often. So its important to create a space where you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Here are a couple of recommended positions:
- Lie on your side with your baby facing you. This will allow for your full body to be supported
- Use a comfortable recliner and lay back positioning the baby lying in your arms.
Here are a couple of items we recommend to help with breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding tip #8:
Find a support Group of Mothers
This one is probably one of the most important breastfeeding tips. Find yourself a community of moms who have experience in breast feeding. The will be a valuable resource for you to call upon when you have questions or concerns. According to www.breastfeedingplace.com here are a list of benefits for support groups:
Benefit list for breastfeeding support groups:
- Build Community
- Provide Safe Space to ask uncomfortable questions
- Have live examples
- May Help you breastfeed longer
Breastfeeding tip #9:
Give it Time
While breastfeeding is often portrayed as something that all new mommas should inherently be an expert at, this is hardly the case for a good portion of mommas. It may be easy to feel discouraged and want to give up, but breastfeeding is worth the phase of trial and tribulation. Remember that it takes time for both you and baby to get the hang of breastfeeding and that just because it isn’t working out right from the get-go doesn’t mean that it is a lost cause.
Don’t be afraid to consult a doctor or a lactation specialist if you feel like you are really struggling. There are many supports out there for breastfeeding mommas that are designed to help you be successful. Don’t be embarrassed if you need a little extra help. In fact, feel proud because asking for help means that you are doing everything that you can to provide your little one with the very best that you can.
With these helpful tips, you should be well on your way toward breastfeeding success! Just make sure you are looking at your body’s signals and also your baby’s signals. Trust your gut and do whatever feels right for you and baby.
Have any feedback?
Please leave us a comment below letting us know about some of your tips and tricks! We would love to add them to the list!
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