13 Breastfeeding Tips – New Moms Need to Know
13 Breastfeeding Tips
New Moms Need to Know
Learning to breastfeed is challenging, if you don’t know what you are doing. Experienced moms will tell you that there are some really easy ways to make breastfeeding work for you and your baby. For most babies, breast is best.
Breast milk is a perfect source of nutrients for your baby. Not only does breast milk contain the nutrients a baby’s body needs to grow and thrive, but it also contains antibodies which boost the baby’s immune system. Mom is literally passing on her germ fighting antibodies right to her baby, even out of the womb.
If you are a new mom, and you’ve been struggling to nurse your baby, here are 13 awesome breastfeeding tips to help you get on the right track.
1) The proper latch is so important! If your baby is not latching on properly, he is not nursing as successfully as he could be. And he is probably hurting you when he does! To achieve a proper latch, you should put your nipple on babies upper lip area to get him to open wide. His head she be slightly tilted back (not hurting his neck, or extending in any way). If your baby is refusing to open wide, you can try to touch the top of his lip/under his nose with your nipple to see if he will then open.
2) Feed on demand. Babies don’t have set schedules, and they cannot help when they are hungry or needy for their mama. Trying to feed a baby every 2 hours, and expecting a newborn to stick to it, is not reasonable. Babies nurse for hunger, comfort, and just because they want their mom to cuddle them. Feeding on demand not only helps a baby to feel cared for, but it also significantly helps improves your milk supply.
3) Buy at least 4 nursing bras that you actually like. Most women nurse their babies for at least 6-12 months. This is not the time to wing it with your regular bras. You will without a doubt ruin them! Nursing bras are great because they are comfortable, convenient and still look just as nice as a regular bra. You will want night time nursing bras as well as more traditional day time bras. Avoiding underwires, and sizing up from what you normally wear is a good rule of thumb. Most women go up 1-2 bra sizes while nursing, so plan accordingly.
4) A double breast pump is worth every cent! Breast pumps are not cheap, but they are worth their weight in gold. If you are EBF’ing, you will certainly need help at some point. Getting used to pumping from early on is helpful, and is also great for increasing your supply as well. A double pump will work in half the time of a single, and the double is more efficient about getting the most milk out.
5) Postpone pacifiers for a few weeks to avoid nipple confusion. It may be overwhelming being a living breathing pacifier for your newborn. But all of those short nursing sessions are getting both of you lots of practice. The better a baby gets a nursing, the easier it’ll be.
6) Do not use a nipple shield, unless you truly have an inverted nipple. Nipple shields can be great for new moms who are really sore from their new nursing journey. Nipple shields can be the death to nursing for a woman who really doesn’t need one, because the baby will no longer know how to properly latch. The way a baby latches for a shield is drastically different than when he nurses without one. Nipple shields should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
7) Don’t rush for the baby to sleep through the night. That sounds like something no mother should ever tell another. But in all honestly, while having the baby sleep through the night is the greatest feeling you can imagine after weeks of barely sleeping, this can harm your nursing. Nighttime feeding can really help to build up your milk supply, and reducing those feedings can reduce your supply.
8) Nursing pillows can help reduce stress on your neck and shoulder when nursing. Cradling a baby in your arms can be taxing on your neck and shoulders. Using proper support under your arms can really help in minimizing the stress on those areas. Nursing pillow provide support and comfort and can be taken with you anywhere you go.
9) Offer both sides during one session. Sometimes this is hard because the baby falls asleep. But offering both sides helps to keep you from feeling completely lopsided. Burping the baby between sides can help, as it can wake baby up a little bit in order to nurse again. Though sometimes they are so happy and so full from breastfeeding, that burping just makes them even more comfy and they completely fall asleep.
10) Wake baby up and encourage him to nurse if he constantly falls asleep while nursing. Sometimes babies get way too comfortable being snuggled up with mom, that they forget to actually eat. In the case of a newborn, you may need to wake the baby up to get him to continue nursing. You can tickle his little feet, or if needed, strip off his clothes to really get him wide awake. There is nothing a newborn hates more than being naked and on his back!
11) Milk Savers are totally genius! When you are nursing, especially at the beginning, your baby will be nursing on one side but your other side will be leaking everywhere! This is where having nursing pads comes in handy. But it’s such a waste of perfectly good milk. Milk Savers work by catching the milk as it comes out and storing it until you are done and can prepare it to be frozen for a later use.
12) Nursing beads keep the hair on your head from being ripped out. Ha! Seriously, babies have a death grip on hair, even when they are no more than 7 pounds and completely helpless. If you want to keep your hair intact, invest in nursing beads which are nothing more than cute and safe beads that you wear and that they can pull or chew on when they are done breastfeeding.
13) Nursing covers are so helpful, you should have at least one. It can be extremely uncomfortable to nurse in public, or even in front of family and friends. A nursing cover is a modest way of covering yourself, while still looking as cute as ever. They come in every color and pattern you can imagine.
Sources: WebMD, Le Le Leche