Did you know that around 79% of mom's choose to breastfeed their newborns. Then six months later, under 50% are still breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be really hard for women, they might find it too painful, struggle to get baby to latch, or think they don't produce enough milk, to name a few.
I am here to share some tips and tricks to breastfeeding to help you make it as easy as possible. It is a lot of work, but very rewarding. If you are deciding to breastfeed, or do currently and are looking for help, then check out the tips below.
Different Ways to Make Breastfeeding Easier
It Might Hurt: Your lactation consultant might say if you are doing it right it won't hurt. Many moms disagree. After awhile your nipples can crack and become sore. Invest in a nipple cream and use it from the first feeding on. This will help it not hurt so bad. Lanolin cream is one of the top ones hospitals recommend.
Nursing Tanks and Bras: Invest in nursing bras and tanks. These make it easy for you to unsnap the tank or bra to feed with ease. The tanks have a little clip that allows you to unsnap, so you don't have to stretch out your tank trying to feed. Same goes for maternity bras. They also recommend no underwire bras while breastfeeding.
Robe for Hospital: Make sure to pack a robe for the hospital and then wear a nursing tank underneath. That way you are covered when guests are around but can easily feed. It takes a little bit to get the hang of nursing so not having to spend five minutes getting undressed will help ease stress.
Nipple Shield: If your baby is not latching good, consider getting a nipple shield. This will make it easier for baby to latch and you can wean off once a little older. Your hospital may offer one or you can grab one online.
Breastfeed Station: You will spend countless hours breastfeeding in a day. Make sure when you sit down you have things you will need. Remote, phone, book, drink, snacks, etc. Also make sure you are comfy, make sure your seat is comfortable so you don't kink up your back.
Breastfeeding Pillow: They make pillows for breastfeeding moms. These work great to keep baby in position and to take some weight off you. It brings a lot of comfort, like a boppy pillow.
Wait To Pump: Make sure your milk is coming in good before you begin to pump. This helps ensure baby will get enough when they feed from you.
Lactation Consultant: Consider looking into a lactation consultant for help. This is great to do even before baby comes so you feel comfortable with them. That way if you have any issues they can help guide you. Without the help of my lactation consultant, I would have quit before the first month with Owen. We made it almost 17 months!
Drink: Make sure you stay hydrated! You are going to dehydrate easier as you are breastfeeding and producing milk. Try and drink a lot throughout the day.
Eat more: Breastfeeding can wear on you, doctors recommend to consume around 500 more calories a day while breastfeeding.
Reach out to Breastfeeding Friends: If you know a friend who just had a baby and has chosen to breastfeed, reach out. See if they have any pointers or would let you watch and learn by seeing first hand. This is a great way to learn for some moms.
Touch Baby’s Feet: Consider touching your baby’s feet when they nurse. Make sure they are touching a pillow or your arm. They feel more secure and will nurse easier.
Nurse within First Hour: If possible nurse within the first hour of being born. Babies are ready to latch almost immediately and working with them earlier just makes it easier!
Let Baby Set Pace: Each baby is different so the eating time can vary. Let baby drink from first breast until it is soft to touch. This is around 15-25 minutes. Then attempt to burp them, then offer the other breast. If your baby is still hungry they will drink. If not, don't force them to eat. You can pump to relieve the pressure if you are hurting, and great to begin stockpiling milk.