10 Tips for Breastfeeding From a Breastfeeding Mama
- Breastfeed immediately after baby is born. Let your visitors wait to come see you and your baby. Feed your baby first as they are hungry and ready to nurse immediately after being born. You don't want to put off the feeding because then they may not be as ready to nurse later on. After reading this, speaking to my doctor about it and learning this in a breastfeeding class, I made sure that I followed through with this. My baby girl latched beautifully the first time.
- Do skin to skin. Research shows this is amazing for many, many reasons but is also beneficial for breastfeeding. Although I don't really know what impact it had on our breastfeeding that first time, I enjoyed the experience so much and will never forget it.
- Prepare yourself. I definitely think that reading a breastfeeding book is beneficial as well as taking a breastfeeding class. I didn't read my book front to back, I read the different sections that I knew would help me and highlighted things to go back and look at for help. It's good to go into it with some knowledge. Look for support groups via Facebook or anywhere on the Internet.
- Be patient. Understand that it takes practice sometimes to have a good little nursing buddy. Some people are lucky and have a baby that nurses like a pro from the beginning and others have a little more work to do. I've heard of women who work on it for a month before their baby learns to really latch on.
- Make it a priority. If breastfeeding is important to you, make it a priority. In the beginning nurse your baby every 2-3 hours even if they are not crying to eat. Make sure family and friends know to give you your space and time so you can breastfeed.
- Try to avoid other nipples. Put off giving a bottle of pumped milk until your baby is an excellent latcher (I waited five weeks even though she was excellent from the beginning). Avoid a pacifier for awhile as well (I waited almost two weeks). False nipples can confuse them and make them favor the bottle nipple over your breast.
- Make Google your best friend. Some people say not to Google things - but it always helps me. You'll find forums and articles on breastfeeding tips and issues that may help you tremendously.
- Never give up. No matter what problems you come across whether it is low milk supply, poor latching or particular allergies that your baby is facing -- you can still fight hard to keep trying. Never give up until you've tried your best and then be proud of what you've done for your baby no matter how little of time it was for. Even if your doctor mentions that you should stop, chances are you really don't need to. Mommy's milk is always best.
- Remember that it gets easier. It is a lot of work in the beginning and can even be exhausting. Eventually it is so easy and you'll favor whipping out a "milk bag" rather than preparing a bottle. It's eventually just second nature to you and an everyday thing. Don't listen to others' negative opinions and don't just assume that because everyone you know had trouble with it, you will too. I did not know one person who had successfully breastfed their child for longer than a few weeks and I was scared thinking that would be me.
- Savor the bond. It is truly an amazing bond that you share with your child. I love how I can tell that my baby finds comfort from me while nursing. I'll one day miss it and I take it all in now.
I'm obviously no expert or any type of breastfeeding guru. I'm just a breastfeeding mama who did these things and has so far had a pretty good breastfeeding journey although I've had my fair share of issues like many. Always be proud of the effort you've put forth into breastfeeding and always remember to ask for help and advice. I wrote this post for a few personal friends who are currently expecting and hoping to breastfeed, but I hope that it helps many others as well.
What's your number one tip for breastfeeding?
Thanks for reading, Sasha