If you are currently nursing a newborn or expecting a child, here are five breastfeeding tips every new mom should know to help them be successful.
Breastfeeding is a natural process, leading many moms to believe that it should come naturally, but the reality is that it takes time to learn and get comfortable with. If you're new to breastfeeding, it's smart to take some time to prepare and learn what to expect. Here are five helpful breastfeeding tips every mom should know to get started:
When it comes to breastfeeding, comfort is key. You don't want to be in an uncomfortable position because this can cause you physical pain and result in soreness. To avoid this, make sure you have a chair or sofa that provides enough support for your back and hips. If necessary, use pillows behind your lower back for added support.
When positioning your baby on the breast, make sure he or she can easily reach the nipple and that their airways are clear throughout the feeding. Utilizing a nursing pillow can provide extra comfort during feeding sessions while also helping maintain proper positioning of both mother and child during breastfeeding sessions.
Pro Tip: In some cases where mothers experience engorgement, using a breast pump may relieve some pressure before you begin feeding your child.
Let Your Baby Determine How Often and How Long to Nurse
Another breastfeeding tip every mom should know is that your baby will let you know when they're hungry and how much they need. In the beginning, you may need to wake the baby to nurse, but eventually, your baby and your body will let you know when it is mealtime. You can keep track of how often and how long in a feeding journal to reference with your child's pediatrician. If you're worried about your baby not getting enough milk or you are concerned about other nursing issues, schedule a consultation with a lactation professional as soon as possible.
Leaking Is Natural
Leaking is a natural side effect of breastfeeding and is completely normal. You may notice a small amount of leaking from your breasts close to feeding times or when you hear your baby cry. This can be common in the beginning as your milk supply regulates itself.
Leaking alone is not an indicator of your milk supply or infection. It can interfere with your daily life, in which case there are supplies on the market, such as nipple pads and specialty bras designed to help prevent this from causing an inconvenience.
Build Your Support
It's important to know what healthy quality breastfeeding looks like. If you do not have a supportive group of women around you that have been successful at breastfeeding, then you need to begin forming your support network now.
You need a safe space to ask questions, get advice and find general lactation education resources. A local mom group might be a great starting point. If you believe that more personalized or targeted assistance is needed, lactation service providers are available to assist you both in the office, at home, or virtually.
Engorgement is a very common problem for breastfeeding moms. It can make breastfeeding painful, leading to your baby refusing feeding. Engorgement can be painful and can affect your baby's ability to latch correctly. Some ways to avoid engorgement are to feed or pump as needed and try to avoid skipping sessions. You may need to hand express milk to help relieve discomfort.
Engorgement is not the same as a blocked milk duct. Blocked ducts or mastitis is a bacterial infection in your breast tissue. This condition requires antibiotics and should always be treated by a doctor.
At the end of the day, breastfeeding is something that you and your baby need to learn together. The more you practice, the better you will get at it. So don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.