Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips
Breastfeeding is a magical time of bonding between a mother and her newborn. While it is an experience filled with love, breastfeeding can be a rollercoaster ride. You may feel stressed out and frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Listed below are some of the best breastfeeding tips to help you out and make the most out of this ethereal experience.
1. Keep the Right Breastfeeding Supplies Handy
Anything that can make the nursing process smoother and more efficient for both your baby and you, is a welcome addition. A well-fitting nursing bra can support your breasts while making it easier for you to feed your baby without undressing completely.
Another tip for comfortable breastfeeding is to consider adding a rocking chair in the nursery as the back-and-forth movement can soothe your toddler. A footstool or a nursing pillow may also help you find a comfortable position to breastfeed.
2. Anticipate What Your Baby Needs
Instead of letting your little one bawl out for milk, you can keep an eye out for some tell-tale signs, to anticipate their needs. For example, your baby might open and close their mouth, suckle on their thumb, stick out their tongue, or raise their head constantly.
If you notice any of these, try to nurse your baby right away. Breastfeeding a newborn by anticipating their needs could help build a deeper level of intimacy with them.
3. Your Baby Knows Best!
If you’re stressed about feeding times and how long you need to nurse your baby, don’t worry! Your baby will help you determine how long and when to nurse. It’s best not to set a predetermined interval between breastfeeding sessions or wake your baby up from a nap to nurse them.
Breastfeeding a newborn is all about patience. Your nursing time can last anywhere between ten minutes to forty-five minutes, so don’t panic. While some babies eat super-fast, others love to take their time.
4. Consider Different Latching Techniques
There are several latching tips you can try to help your baby drink milk comfortably. Once you’ve settled into a comfortable breastfeeding position, gently cup your breast and guide your nipple to brush it against the baby’s lips.
This stimulates your little one’s natural rooting reflex and encourages them to open their mouth wide enough to suckle. Another tip is to practice baby-led or laid-back latching. To do this, you’ve to lie on your back and place your toddler on your chest so that their cheek is resting on your breast.
Your baby will explore their surroundings, find your nipple, and latch on by themself. Find latching tips and techniques that work best for your baby and you, for a seamless breastfeeding experience.
5. Try Different Nursing Positions
One of the first and foremost breastfeeding tips you’ll have to put into practice is to try different breastfeeding positions. From the traditional cradle hold to the side-lying position, there are several positions you can try.
Pay attention to what your baby finds the most comfortable, so you can help them latch on and drink milk without hassle. Ensure that your baby is positioned in a way that their mouth is level with your nipple, tilt their head back slightly, and ensure that their nose is not obstructed.
6. Take Good Care of Your Skin
With regular nursing, the delicate skin of your breasts can become irritated, dry, and may even crack over time. To prevent painful infections and ensure a comfortable breastfeeding experience, it is important to take care of your skin.
Small precautionary steps like patting your breasts dry after breastfeeding, moisturizing them with a baby-safe balm or serum, and letting your breasts air out to prevent irritation from clothing, can go a long way in promoting skin health.
7. Have a Nutritious Diet
A well-fed, well-hydrated mama will mean a well-fed baby! A healthy postpartum diet is one of the best ways to increase milk supply. Breastfeeding consumes a lot of energy and can make you feel hungry all the time, as a result.
As far as possible, have a balanced, nutrient-filled diet with lots of fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and calcium. Load up on healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts, seeds, and fish like salmon. You can also continue taking your prenatal vitamins till you start weaning your baby off from breastfeeding.
8. Don’t Fret About Your Milk Supply
Your baby’s suckling stimulates the release of hormones like oxytocin and prolactin. In fact, breastfeeding regularly is considered one of the best ways to increase milk supply.
The more your little one drinks your milk, the more milk you’ll produce. You can also look for signs that breastfeeding is going well. You can check your baby’s diapers or look out for signs of fussiness.
9. Leaking is Natural
When you just begin breastfeeding, you may notice milk leaking from your breasts. This is a completely natural process, and it’s nothing to worry about. Talking to your baby, hearing them cry, or even seeing a picture of your little one, can trigger a let-down.
Eventually, the leaking will lessen and disappear completely as your baby begins to nurse regularly. You can keep a stash of nursing pads by your side to absorb any leakage. There are many breastfeeding tips for leaking, including avoiding pumping as this can make the problem worse.
10. Don’t Ignore Pain
While breastfeeding a newborn may feel completely different at first, or even slightly uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be painful. Infections like mastitis, blocked milk ducts, and sore or cracked nipples can cause pain and inflammation.
If you see signs of engorgement, where your breasts swell and the milk hardens, continue to nurse your baby as much as possible. You can also hand-express breast milk by massaging your areola under a warm shower. See your doctor if any pain or inflammation persists.
If you’re a new mom, breastfeeding can be a challenging feat at times. Putting the breastfeeding tips mentioned above into practice will help make the most of your bonding time with your baby. Pay attention to your baby’s needs, stay comfortable, and most importantly, relax - you’ve got this!