Breastfeeding like parenting, is one of those things you are never truly prepared for in full. Sure you might do your research and may even hear a million and one stories from other moms that have been there. But the truth is, none of them will be an exact match to your breastfeeding experience.
Every mother’s journey in breastfeeding is unique. And unfortunately, most moms have to learn the ins and outs of breastfeeding first hand, the hard way.
But when we stumble upon a few golden nuggets, it’s important to share them with other moms out there embarking on this new chapter in life. The little tidbits of knowledge and breastfeeding tips for new moms can make the journey so much more enjoyable and remind us that while the road is rocky, in the end every bump we encounter still leads to an amazing destination.
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Here are a few of those breastfeeding tips to keep in mind, especially as a new mom.
1. Create a comfortable and safe location that you can spend nursing. Somewhere you don’t have to worry if you fall asleep while nursing. It is bound to happen. It happens to bottle feeding moms too. Don’t let guilt set in and take time to prepare before it happens.
2. You don’t have to just deal with pain in the beginning. Nursing should not hurt. Yes, your breasts may be a bit tender but nothing some lanolin can’t help with. If it truly hurts, ask to see a lactation consultant for help adjusting your baby’s latch. These professionals are available in hospitals to help you get adjusted and reduce issues you have.
3. Don’t use a pump to measure how much milk your baby is getting. Your body will respond to a pump differently than to your baby. A better way to judge if your baby is getting enough is to watch for wet diapers. If baby is wetting roughly every two hours than she is getting plenty and you can relax knowing you’re doing a great job.
4. Create a basket of goodies for nursing. Keep snacks, bottles of water, the remote and plugged in charger or power pack in a basket near your favorite nursing spots. While nursing for long stretches these things make you so much more comfortable. Here are some more gift ideas nursing moms will appreciate!!
5. Learn to nurse in a baby carrier. There will come a time when you feel like your baby does nothing but nurse and sleep cuddled to your breast. While this is normal for growth spurts it can make things a bit hard when you have other things to do. The baby carrier will allow you to nurse and get things done. Win Win.
6. Save that milk. You can find lots of options for milk saving inserts for your bra these days like this one here. In just a few sessions you can have the start of your freezer stash with just the milk that leaks while nursing off the other side. I really wish I had known about these the first time around!
7. Enlist some help. A great support system from your dr to loved ones willing to help with baby can make all the difference in your nursing journey. A loving helpful hand when stress takes hold can go a long way. Especially if they will care for a fussy baby while you take a shower.
8. Build a healthy milk supply by nursing on demand. Forget the clock and feed your baby when she wants to be fed. Nursing on demand brings in a strong healthy supply.
9. Eat a diet that encourages supply. Get plenty of fluids and healthy fats help you produce milk. Eating oatmeal can help you boost your supply.
10. Enjoy it. Breastfeeding is not always pretty. Hours with a little person sucking on your skin, chapped nipples, and breasts that leak in public to name a few downsides. But despite all of that you will have moments that make you smile. Memories and cuddles you will want to cherish. It is not always easy but you will be glad you made the choice to breastfeed your little baby.
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Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.