Tips and Tricks to Help You Be a Breastfeeding Rock Star
Choosing to breastfeed your child is one of the best decisions you can make during the early years of infancy. Breastfeeding offers a unique bond between a mother and baby that is unlike any other connection in existence. Research has also shown that babies who are breastfed get additional protection against illnesses and germs during their first year of life. Some women have even enjoyed additional benefits of breastfeeding that they get for their own bodies, such as losing weight more quickly and controlling those intense postpartum feelings after birth.
The choice to breastfeed is a personal one, and it is not always possible for some parents to make this commitment. Formula fed babies can also get the required nutrients and vitamins from their source of feeding, so it's best to go with whatever method you feel most comfortable with. You can also do a combination of breastfeeding and formula feeding if that works best for you. While there are no real lessons to show you how to breastfeed, you can check out these helpful tips.
Go to the Head of the Breastfeeding Class
If you’re going to be a superstar breastfeeding mom, you’ve got to become an expert on all things breastfeeding. When you are pregnant, investigate your local community resources to find out as much as you can about breastfeeding. Yes, they even offer breastfeeding classes at most delivery hospitals. You can also join up with nonprofit lactation services or your pediatrician’s office to find out more about the process. Additionally, invest in some books to keep at home as a reference when breastfeeding starts to get tough.
Buy Your Way to Success
You can force yourself to be successful at breastfeeding if you spend tons of money on cute and unusual supplies to make it more doable. Breastfeeding position and placement can be much easier if you invest in a nursing pillow to keep at home. This way you and your baby will be comfortable during feeding sessions and your back muscles will thank you. Some new moms choose to buy nursing covers or receiving blankets to help make discrete feeding more possible. Nipple shields to help with a poor latch may also be beneficial during those first few tough months of breastfeeding. Don’t forget to stock up on some healing nipple cream to help repair dry or cracked skin on your girls!
Get on the Ground Running
Then, it's time to show off your new breastfeeding talents. Get your breastfeeding process off to a great start by putting your newborn onto your breast immediately after she's born. Most hospitals allow all new moms to experience this joyful and somewhat strange moment after delivery. Whether you deliver vaginally or get a C-section, it's possible to start feeding your baby right away. This helps signal to your body that it's time to start making those first few drops of milk.
Feed Yourself Too
The first few weeks of being a new mom can be a blur of exhaustion. Breastfeeding may add even more to your plate, so it's important to stay nourished and well hydrated throughout this time. Keep a full bottle of ice cold water next to you at all times, and drink when your baby is feeding. You should also stock your living room and bedroom with plenty of nutritious snacks to help restore your depleted energy whenever possible. Most of all, aim to get as much sleep as possible when your baby settles down for her nap.
Boost Production With Supplements
Some new moms have found it easier to meet their baby’s hungry appetite with vitamin supplements designed to help boost their supply. Make sure you talk to your doctor before spending your hard-earned cash on a supplement, as some can have a few weird side effects. Sipping on a warm cup of mother’s milk tea may give your milk a little boost in production. Lots of new moms have also found success with regularly taking fenugreek tablets as well.
Understand Supply and Demand
Don’t stress out about your milk supply during those first few months of your baby’s life. It's important to understand the concept of supply and demand so your milk supply will meet your baby’s needs. The more you feed your baby, the more your supply will build up. Likewise, if you stress out and decide to skip a breastfeeding session and give your baby a bottle, that may impact your supply. If you notice your baby doesn't seem to be satisfied no matter what you do, consult a lactation consultant or your pediatrician. Moms who truly have a low supply could be dangerously underfeeding their baby.
Conquer the Pump
Then there’s the issue of the breast pump. In the beginning of your child's life, it's best to not worry about the pump and simply feed your child whenever she’s hungry. If you plan to return to work, you may need to invest in a high-quality breast pump. Your insurance company may be able to help you pay for it, too. A few weeks before your return date, set aside time when your baby is sleeping to get used to your pump. It’s definitely awkward at first. A good pumping session may take only 15 to 20 minutes and give you plenty of milk for your baby’s next feed if you plan to be away or you need a break.
Breastfeed in Public Without Shame
The last thing to conquer in the breastfeeding quest is public feeding. The reality is if you take your baby out into the world, at some point she will need to eat. That’s why it’s important to develop a strategy to comfortably breastfeed your little one in public. Whether you cover yourself with a giant nursing cover, lay a soft receiving blanket across your chest or strategically layer a blouse and tank top to allow for easy baby feeding access, you can do it. Eventually, you’ll be a pro at the feeding in public skill and not even think about it.
Conquering the art of breastfeeding can be tough, but millions of new moms do it every day, and you can, too. You can find out more about how to make breastfeeding your newborn easier by following KAMO on Twitter, on Facebook or on Instagram.