Before we go to Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms or Experienced Moms lets go through the Benefits of Breastfeeding
Like I said before, as each baby is unique, so is each mom. Likewise, each mom’s & baby’s breastfeeding experience is also unique. The best part of breastfeeding is that it helps in bonding with your newborn & so it is suggested that you breastfeed your newborn as soon as possible.
Breastfeeding can be a bit difficult & might take a little time to get a hang of it. So some moms can get a bit dissuaded & may be out off from breastfeeding. Hence, it is of prime importance to know the benefits of breastfeeding for a new mom & newborn.
Here is a List of some Important Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Best Bonding Act – Breastfeeding helps in forming a strong and unique bond with your newborn giving both mom and newborn a soothing time together.
- Breastfeeding is handy as its always ready & available
- You don’t have to spend money on breastmilk because your body is producing it.
- Nutritious – Breastmilk is the most nutritious food/drink for your baby.
- Immune system booster – Breastmilk is filled with antibodies that help in boosting your newborn’s immune system.
- Boost development – Breastmilk also has proteins, fats, vitamins & hormones which help in your newborn’s development
- Breastfeeding decreases your risk of certain cancer, heart problems & obesity
- Breastfeeding assists in faster weight loss after delivery.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Another motivating factor is that till the time you are breastfeeding your period’s won’t return. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah I love that break from periods. Breastfeeding also puts a pause on your Menopause
- Breastfed babies have a better sleep pattern.
- I have also read that breastmilk helps in some treatments like dry skin, sore nipples, conjunctivitis in babies, etc. [There is no official record of this but just a general observation by some moms]
Well, now that we know the benefits of breastmilk, let’s find out some Breastfeeding Tips.
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Listed below are 13 Best & Useful Breastfeeding Tips:
1. Get an early start
Nursing should begin within an hour after delivery or as soon as possible when your infant is awake and the sucking instinct is strong. Even though you won’t be producing milk yet, your breasts contain colostrum, a thin fluid that contains beneficial antibodies.
Breastfeeding encourages the release of the hormone oxytocin, which may help you bond with your baby and reassure you of your nurturing abilities.
2. Nursing Bra
Invest in a good nursing bra. It will be very handy while breastfeeding your baby to have a bra which has an easy opening in the front. Buy a higher size bra so it is not very tight, as it can cause blocked ducts in your breast & can be very painful.
3. Frequency of Breastfeeding
Ideally for newborns, 8 – 10 feeds in a 24-hour period is quiet normal. The more frequently your baby nurses, they are more likely to gain good weight & nutrition from your breastmilk.
The more you nurse the more milk will be produced. You may notice there is surge in production as your milk comes in around two to four days after the birth. Your breasts may look and feel fuller than before. The more milk your baby drinks from you, the more milk your will be produced as a result of milk being removed from your breast. So, basically breastfeeding actually acts as a stimuli for more milk production.
4. Proper positioning
Another useful breastfeeding tip is a good latch. A good latch is very important for successful breastfeeding. You may get sore nipples if you have a poor latch. For a proper latch, the baby’s mouth should be wide open, with the nipple as far back into his or her mouth as possible. This minimizes soreness for you.
If you’re having trouble getting your baby to latch on or are experiencing any pain, rest assured that you are not alone. It is one of the common problems. Seek help from a lactation specialist at your hospital or mid-wife. For soreness on the nipple you can use some cream like Lansinoh
Breastfeeding your baby takes a while to get a hang of it. For some babies & moms, it can be a process that they learn in a jiffy, while some may struggle a bit. But don’t worry, keep trying, take as much help as possible & you will get there. Trust your natural mommy instincts and learn from all the Breastfeeding Tips given here.
Breastfeeding positions are similar to some positions of Safe Ways To Hold Your Baby.
I had trouble with mastering latching with both my babies. But eventually, we made it. During my daughter’s time, I had more trouble, but I must thank the midwife who came for her regular visits and advised me of positioning my baby properly so as to help in getting a proper latch on the nipple.
For more information on latching please visit the below link
5. Nursing Pillow
Buying a good Nursing Pillow is yet another Breastfeeding Tip. This is such an important & useful buy for any mom who wants to breastfeed her baby. I used the nursing pillow for feeding both my babies. They are so comfortable & make the breastfeeding experience really good. It helps to keep your baby in such a comfortable position that it helps your baby with a perfect latch on your nipples.
A perfect latch helps in reducing discomfort & pain while breastfeeding. Since the nursing pillow is such a useful thing, it’s a must-buy for a successful & pain-free breastfeeding experience.
Another plus factor of the Boppy style nursing pillow is that you can give your baby a nice tummy time on it & can also be used for baby to sit and use the Boppy pillow for support on the back & sides. So the nursing pillow is multi-purpose and can be used even when you are not breastfeeding your baby.
6. Nursing Pads or Breast Pads
Coming to yet another Breastfeeding tip, we have the Nursing Pads. The nursing pads come in handy when there is leakage /spillage of milk from your breast due to over production or let down.
Learn more about the Let Down Reflex & Milk Production Here
It is good to use super-absorbent breast pads. I would highly recommend using Tommy Tippy Disposable Breast Pads. Those are the ones I used. They are super comfy & do the job. If you prefer to use more Eco Friendly & washable breast pads you can try the ones from Lansinoh.
7. Nurse on Demand
Nurse on Demand is I think the Best Breastfeeding Tip so far. I have always fed both my babies on demand. It is always a better practice to feed your baby on demand rather than on a schedule. Learn to understand your baby’s hunger cues & signals for breastfeeding on demand. That way your baby will be able to have their full feed in a satisfactory manner, than just waiting to be fed as per the schedule. So basically you breastfeed your baby whenever your baby signals you that he/she is hungry.
Now let’s understand some key elements to Nursing On Demand (Bonus Breastfeeding Tips)
It is important that you learn the initial hunger cues (licking on one’s fist or reaching out to your breast) than wait for the later hunger cues like crying. That will make your baby impatient & irritated. You will then need to calm your baby & make him/her settled first. Again that will take extra time & your baby will keep feeling hungry. So instead it is better to feed your baby while they are on their initial hunger cues. That way your baby is also satisfied with breastfeeding.
Another important factor relating to breastfeeding on demand is the production of milk. More milk is produced by the mammary glands when more milk is fed. So as your baby will drink more milk your milk production will also increase. Where as if you schedule your breastfeeding & do not feed your baby when he/she demands, the milk production will also be slow & delayed due to the non or late response.
Easing engorgement pain
If the breast is too full, they become hard & painful. To relieve the breasts from this engorgement pain, it is again necessary that you feed the baby on demand. That way, your breast will produce only that much milk as much is in demand. So, your breast won’t produce milk in abundance than what is required for your baby & thus you won’t have to go through the engorgement pain.
In spite of your efforts, it is still possible to have breast engorgement, especially while weaning your baby from breastmilk to feeding solids. In such scenario, it becomes difficult for baby to latch on properly due to hardened breast. So, if you do have engorged breast, I would suggest you to apply some warm compress on your breast & give your breast a good massage or express your breastmilk with a breast pump or by hand. (Tip – Do not drain completely as it will stimulate more milk production)
8. Alternate Breast with each feeding
If you start with your Left breast in your first feeding, change to the right breast for the next feeding. Do not try to stop your baby from feeding completely on one breast & offer your baby another breast. As that will hinder your milk supply & will also make latching on the other breast difficult as your baby wanted to feed on the first breast.
Your baby will signal you when they are done feeding, by either slowing in speed, or falling asleep or getting off the breast & breaking the latch. As I mentioned earlier it is very imperative for successful breastfeeding that you understand your baby’s cues & signals.
9. Air dry nipples
In the early postpartum period you may wish to air dry your nipples to help prevent them from cracking. A proper latching at the breast can help prevent sore nipples. If you’re very sore, your baby may not have the nipple far enough back in his or her mouth. Is cracked nipples or pain does not go, be sure to speak with your lactation specialist about ways to prevent or relieve dry nipples.
10. Infection like Mastitis
Clean hands and breasts thoroughly before each feeding to avoid infection. Symptoms of breast infection include fever, painful lumps, and redness in the breast. These require immediate medical attention. If you continue to have the symptoms for more than 24 hours don’t hesitate to visit your GP or midwife.
11. Is my baby getting enough milk?
This is one question which every breastfeeding mom has, as you can measure the amount of breastmilk that the baby has. So how will you know if your baby has had enough breastmilk?
There are various indicators which help you to find if your baby has enough breastmilk.
Watch for these indicators (Some more Bonus Breastfeeding Tips) which will help you ensure that your baby is getting sufficient amount of breastmilk:
Your baby has increased in weight. Now, there is a catch in this one. Initially in the first few days, the weight of your baby will drop. But that does not mean that your baby is not getting enough milk. Apart from the first couple of days, your baby’s weight should increase steadily every week by 4 to 7 ounces. (This can differ from baby to baby. The main point is that the weight is increasing & not decreasing) If you have any concerns regarding your baby’s weight please consult your midwife or GP.
Check if your baby looks happy or satisfied after his/her breastfeeding. Your baby will look very satisfies & happy if their tummy is filled with breastmilk. If not, then they will show you the cues that they are still hungry. Their discomfort & dissatisfaction will be seen in case their tummy is not completely or satisfactorily filled.
This is a sure-shot way to tell if your baby is getting an ample amount of breastmilk. For the first few weeks, your baby should have 6 to 8 pees & 3 to 4 soft stools. It is advisable to keep a track of how many minutes of feed your baby had & how many wet or dirty diapers your baby had for the first few weeks. If you feel there is a concern regarding the number of dirty diapers your baby is having in a day, it is advisable to have a word with your midwife or GP.
Tip – As silly as it might sound, but the colour of your baby’s poop can give many indications of the overall health of your baby. So keep a track of the changing poop colour too ????
12. Keep hydrated & your tummy full with Healthy Food
It is very important that you drink plenty of water as water is the main component of your breastmilk. Eat healthy as your baby will get all the nutrition through your breastmilk. So it is imperative that you eat healthily, so your baby drinks healthy.
Follow the below guideline for Healthy Foods for Breastfeeding
For more information on Breastfeeding Diet & Food Check this Book
13. Professional help
Breastfeeding is not easy & can be very challenging at times. In case you are suffering from pain while breastfeeding or are unable to breastfeed your baby properly, you can ask your midwife to help you. I had lots of problems with breastfeeding my daughter. I was blessed to get a very friendly & helpful mid-wife, who taught me breastfeeding positions & how I could help my baby to latch on properly. So go ahead, take help. It is not shameful to ask for help. In fact, it is better than suffering & even making your baby go through all the discomfort & frustration.
Well those were a my Best & Useful Breastfeeding Tips. Let me know if you have some of your own.
Breastfeeding can be confusing, discouraging & challenging not just for new moms but also for some experienced moms. But, with some help from your midwife or lactation specialist, it is not something that is difficult to overcome. It is absolutely normal to feel & have all those anxieties & nervousness.
Win over all of this & you have a special bonding experience with your bundle of joy.
I have had trouble with breastfeeding with both my babies. But it lasted only for sometime & with help of my wonderful mid-wife, I was able to overcome the difficulty I had in breastfeeding. I was successfully able to breastfeed my babies.
Share with me your experiences of breastfeeding by commenting below. Did you go through any difficulty or was as natural as it could be. Do you have some more Breastfeeding Tips to share? I am waiting to hear your story. Comment Now & share your story.
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