Tips for First Time Breastfeeding Mothers
Despite Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and wonderful things for women of every age; it can also be a daunting task for some first-time mothers. From understanding how to latch baby comfortably onto the breast to making sure the baby is getting enough milk, breastfeeding brings a unique set of challenges to every mom. If you also are facing some kind of difficulty in breastfeeding, follow these 12 surefire tips to make the process easier for both you and your newborn!
Let’s get started!
Tips for Trouble-free Breastfeeding
Get Things Off to a Good Start
The old adage “well begun is half done” seems quite true when it comes to breastfeeding. If you already know how to breastfeed your little one the right way, the chances of your nursing success are much higher. Try to educate yourself as much as you can about breastfeeding while you’re pregnant. Read books, take lactation classes, talk to other breastfeeding women and do whatever you can to empower yourself with the knowledge of breastfeeding.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Whether you’re at home or out and about, wear something that you find easy and comfortable to breastfeed in. For instance, you can wear a nursing bra or tank top under a loose-fitting T-shirt. Not only will this allow you to feed your baby easily, but also it will make you look and feel confident while breastfeeding. Whatever you’re willing to wear, just make sure it provides easy and discreet access to your breasts without any difficulty.
Learn to Understand Baby’s Hunger Cues
One of the most effective things you can do to make breastfeeding easier and smoother is recognizing your baby’s early hunger cues. Instead of waiting until your little one starts crying, feed him immediately after you watch his first sign for hunger. Remember, it is really much easier to feed an infant who is just starting to get hungry than one who is already too much hungry.
Master the Perfect Latch
Getting the proper latch is the key to effective, pain-free breastfeeding. An improper latch not only causes your baby not to get sufficient amount of breast milk but also massacres your delicate nipples. In other words, the way how your baby latches on to the breast plays a vital role in making or breaking your breastfeeding experience. Hence, practice getting a good breastfeeding latch from the day one.
Try Different Breastfeeding Positions
Although there are lots of different breastfeeding positions you can use to feed your little cherub, it’s much better to find the one that is most comfortable to both of you. Experiment with different breastfeeding positions to see which suites you and your baby best. Keep in mind, a good breastfeeding position is the one that allows you to feed your little one easily and effectively.
For night time breastfeeding the laying down position is most comfortable as you don’t have to get up and sit. It is recommended that you learn this position too and make sure your baby’s nose is not pressed against the breasts. Learn more about nighttime breastfeeding here
Pumping is definitely a great way to have spare milk handy so you can feed your munchkin easily when you’re unwell or not around. Also, frequent pumping extracts all of the milk from your breasts, which further contributes to maintaining your overall milk supply. Consider investing in a high-quality breast pump and practice pumping, especially if you’re a working mom.
Stock Up on Nursing Supplies
To make your breastfeeding journey successful and enjoyable, be sure to stock up on everything you think you’ll need during breastfeeding. It can be a nursing pillow, a nipple cream, a nursing cover, a nursing bra or any other thing that can make breastfeeding easy and comfortable for both of you. Best of all, you can buy all these items even before the arrival of your little one.
In case of nursing bra, consider the fact that your breasts will be bigger after baby delivery compared to that in pregnancy.
Drink Plenty of Water
While you’re breastfeeding, it’s quite natural for you to feel thirsty as you produce around 850ml of breast milk per day. Consequently, you need to drink lots of water to stay well-hydrated and energized throughout the day. Given that breast milk is composed of 88% water, it’s certainly a good idea to drink an adequate amount of water every time you breastfeed your sidekick.
Always keep a water bottle close to you and drink water frequently.
Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet
If you really want to build and maintain your milk supply, try to consume at least 1,800 calories per day when you’re breastfeeding. Include a variety of fresh and nutritious food in your diet and stay away from caffeinated food and drinks like coffee, tea, chocolates, etc. Remember, you don’t need to go on a special diet while you’re breastfeeding, but it’s imperative for you to eat a well-balanced diet to keep yourself and your baby healthy.
Learn about breastfeeding diet here.
Get Enough Sleep
Just because you have breasts does not necessarily mean you have to do all the feedings. Once you have successfully established a consistent breastfeeding relationship with your little one, let your partner take over some duties to give yourself some ‘much-needed’ rest. Pump a bottle of breast milk before you fall asleep so your husband can give the baby a feeding when you are relaxing. Also, try to get a minimum of 7 hours sleep every day.
Master Feeding On the Go
Public breastfeeding is something that most of the new moms worry about, especially in the early days of their motherhood. The fear of exposing their breasts in public not only stops them from feeding their wee ones on-the-go but also steals their confidence of doing something what they really need to do to satisfy their baby’s appetite. If you also are one of them, master the art of breastfeeding before you step out of your house.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy! If you’re really struggling, don’t wait to get help from a lactation expert. Be it about getting familiar with different breastfeeding positions or just about not producing enough breast milk; never hesitate to ask for help. Remember, not getting timely help from a lactation consultant can cause a small breastfeeding problem to turn into a bigger one!