Whether you’re a first time mom or have three humans in your life, like I do… there are a few breastfeeding tips that can make the journey a whole lot more smoother for you.
Whilst breastfeeding is such a beautiful and natural thing, it does not always work out as beautiful and naturally for all mothers.
With my first son, I was so shocked at the utter pain of breastfeeding and the fact that my mom did this thing three times! My word! It hurt like hell and the engorgement! LORD have mercy!
I would soon learn that infact I had Mikaili latching on all wrong. As soon as that was fixed, the journey went on alot smoother.
What was also pretty tough was breastfeeding whilst recovering from a c/section, the uterine contractions! Whew!
I have found that the breastfeeding journey got a lot easier as I learnt more about how to effectively breastfeed.
Here are some tips that helped me along my own journey.
Most newborn to term newborns can be put skin to skin on mom from the get go. This is the perfect time to initiate breastfeeding. Try to breastfeed within the first hour of birth. This also helps your uterus contract and provides that amazing natural valuable antibiotic called colostrum for baby.
Get Professional Help
Have a nurse or lactation consultant in the hospital check how Baby latches on while you’re still in the hospital. While it may be uncomfortable when Baby latches on, it shouldn’t be painful. If it hurts badly enough and you find yourself wincing and crying every time, then you may not have the right position or latch.
Find a support group
A good support group is so important to continuing your journey of successfully breastfeeding. When you have a group of women that are supporting you on the journey, whether you’re having trouble or not, having a group of women you can talk to about breastfeeding is super comforting. Your ups and downs are heard and understood. I would definitely recommend you look for your local Flourish Network group and join! So worthwhile in this journey!
Make Breastfeeding Fun For You & Baby
When babies are first born, they should breastfeed every two to three hours. So effectively, you should plan to breastfeed about eight to 12 times in every 24-hour period. Yup! You’ll be spending alot of time being caught by the nipples… literally. LOL
Have fun with it. Plan some singing time, get some books to read together for baby and read out loud whilst baby feeds. Tell Baby some stories. Talk to Baby. Play some affirmations and recite them to Baby. Make this time your bonding time.
Prepare for your milk to come in
I did not expect the moment when my breastmilk came in to be so hectic! The engorgement was so bad and I panicked! I thought perhaps my breasts and breastmilk had gotten too much for my 32A breast to handle.
This occurs on about the third or fourth day after birth. You’ll know it’s happened because your breasts suddenly increase several cup sizes. Mine went from 32A to 32C.
Speaking of which, make sure you have several well-fitting nursing bras – preferably non-wired bras – and don’t forget to pack one in your hospital bag!
Understand your Baby’s Breastfeeding Cues
Understand that these are little humans and their intelligence allows them to be so good at giving hunger signals such as looking around searching for your nipple, putting their hand in the mouth and sucking, as well looking very alert and wiggly (this could also be a signal for a diaper change)… but you’ll know. Remember that when you are breastfeeding, you are feeding on demand.
Be sure to also check that baby has about 8-10 wet diapers a day – that’s a sign of good hydration and that baby is getting enough milk.
Reduce Nipple Confusion
Try not to introduce a bottle or other nipple like things to baby especially early on in the breastfeeding journey, this includes pacifiers/dummies, until breastfeeding is well established.
The thrusting motion required to nurse is different from that required to suck a nipple, and Baby could get confused.
Find your calm and your position
Breastfeed in a calm environment to help your milk let down. Stay calm, relaxed and unrushed whilst you breastfeed. After a while, all it will take for your milk to let down is unhooking your bra for your baby, or even just hearing any infant cry.There are a few positions one can use when breastfeeding. Try a couple of different positions to see which one works best for you and Baby. As Baby gets older, it’s likely that the position you’re using will change because they weigh more and you’ll want to find something more comfortable for both of you. Keep trying until you are both comfortable.
You will leak!
Anticipate leaking. It comes with the milk supply. Keep breast pads on standby at all times. In your handbag, in the car. Place them around the house… because your will leak.
I have personally forgotten to wear breast pads may times… and ended up with the embarrassing wet circles on a t-shirt or top – soooo embarrassing!
Breastfeeding is a supply demand activity
Breastfeeding is a basic supply-and-demand activity. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your body makes. So when your baby goes through a growth spurt and seems to be breastfeeding all the time, keep in mind she’s signaling your body to up the milk production for her new nutritional needs.
This means breastfeeding and pumping often. Nothing hurts more than engorgement! Oh my gosh!!
I was so engorged once and someone leaned in for a hug (pre-covid19 ofcourse), THE AGONISING PAIN!
Here are some essentials you will need on your breastfeeding journey – some available on shop.artofsuperwoman.com:
- Nursing bra
- Nipple Cream (I love Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream)
- Water – drink TONS of water and keep some on your bedside
- Prenatal Vitamins – keep taking your prenatal vitamins after birth
- Breast Pump
- Breastmilk Let Down Catcher
- Snacks – always keep some healthy snacks and lactation cookies in the house
- Breast Soother
- Nipple shields
- Microwave sterilization bags
- Baby Carrier and Swaddle Blanket for breastfeeding in public (if you’re not like me – a whip out the booby and feed kind of person) LOL