Breastfeeding like a pro: 8 Tips
First, let’s start with you can do it and you are a pro!
You were built to feed your babies. Yes sometimes circumstances prevent you from being able too, but I’ve learned some tricks from lactation consultants and midwifes that I think all moms should know to give it your best shot. I’m not going to lie, breastfeeding isn’t easy. Somedays it feels thats all you do for 24 hours…BUT its temporary and so worth it for your little ones.
Trick #1 for Pain, discomfort, hard time staying on the nipple:
Buy a nipple shield. I prefer Medela Nipple Shield and get it in a Medium (larger is better). You can get them at target, buy buy baby and even amazon. In the beginning (1st month) it will save your nipple, help baby eat, latch, gain weight, and help build your confidence. Even if you don’t think you have these issues right away you might later- get one and get comfortable with it. Plus side is it also helps your baby welcome a bottle later. Dads especially love that so they can bond with baby. If you are like me and only do breast milk, then it’s nice once in a while to pump and let Daddy feed while taking a nice shower.
Trick #2 Supplementing, adding weight and back up milk:
Buy or rent a pump. So many brands out there, just get an electronic one not a hand pump. Also get one that you can do both breasts at the same time. I was lucky to have a pump given to me before baby came. As you’ll find out after a couple days after birth baby’s weight will drop down (totally normal), but it should come back up. During this time to be safe, we not only feed from my breasts, but I pumped and gave our baby that as well between feedings to help her put back on some ounces. I only had to do it for 48 hours, but in my opinion a better option than formula any day of the week. Second reason to have a pump handy is to allow you to build up a breast milk storage in your freezer. If you have to go back to work this will be a crucial element for you, but if not you still should do this for times you can’t be feeding baby. Plus side is pumping will also help your milk supply go up (in most cases).
Trick #3 Nipple Care:
Have a nipple cream or balm handy. I really like the Honest Company organic nipple balm. It’s easy to get as it ships with our diapers and its organic! Another wonderful brand that is also organic is Motherlove nipple cream– really soft and easy to apply. It seems like everyone will usually recommend Lansinoh and it works great, but I prefer the other two as they have natural ingredients, don’t test on animals, and are organic. Honestly, I have all three and use all three- can’t go wrong with any of these.
Trick #4 Breast friend Nursing Pillow:
With a newborn during the long nights this really was my “Breast Friend“! Your arms are tired, your baby is small and you still are trying to figure out the best way to feed your baby- it’s over whelming at times in the beginning. This little pillow not only puts baby in the right height position belly to belly, but elevates the head on either side. Your probably like, so what about the head thing?? Here’s why it matters other nursing pillows you have to switch over to the other side when you move baby to the other breast. So you have to take baby off, move pillow and put baby back on. This creates one more step and at 2 am, sleep deprived, that can be one step too many. Another major PLUS about this brand is it secures around your back and holds tight to your body. It feels great as far as support goes and you can move (even stand up) and baby is still secure on nipple unmoved. It’s really fantastic. I highly recommend it. After about 2 weeks I wasn’t relying on it too much anymore, but now at 2 months with the growing baby it is again my “breast friend”. You can find it on Amazon and Buy Buy Baby. I will say the prints & colors are not that great, but the product is.
NOTE: if you have twins this pillow was also made for you!!
Trick #5 Don’t go at it alone:
Breastfeeding even if easy, gets frustrating at times. You are stuck for hours or most of your day feeding. Sometimes baby and you are an efficient team where baby can eat and you can get things done. This is especially true, if you have a baby feeding in carrier but other days breastfeeding can just be a hot mess. Don’t go at it alone. There are several mommy groups on breastfeeding and FREE meet ups with lactation consultants. If you live in OC or SD you should try and make it to a couple of breastfeeding meetings at Babies in Bloom in Vista. The breastfeeding classes are every Friday at 11am & free. The facilitator of the class is the owner and a lactation consultant. Let me tell you, even if you don’t have questions you will learn something new and useful every time from her! It’s a wonderful chance to meet other moms with infants (all ages 0-24 months) ask questions, get advice, and be with like minded women. It’s really helpful to be surrounded with other moms in the beginning. So even if you are already a breast-feeding champ make time and go to one of these groups. Breastfeeding is always changing as your baby does so don’t get frustrated, just get resources.
Trick # 6 Baby wearing and Feeding:
Thank GOD for my two hands and being able to use them! Once I mastered how to feed my baby while she was in my wrap carrier, I felt I had won the lottery! Seriously, simple pleasures… If you don’t wear your baby, I highly recommend it. I’m using a wrap carrier by Boba. There are many other brands out their, but I prefer the material and feel of the Boba wrap baby carrier. It’s a wrap so with a newborn she feels nice and secure, close to the body and very similar to being in the womb. I can easy pull out my breast and still be covered in the wrap to feed baby. It’s been a lifesaver, especially because my baby doesn’t take big daytime naps so she’s always on the boob. It allows me to work, write this blog, clean up, cook, etc.. Do yourself the favor and get a carrier you like. More on baby wearing click HERE. If you do feed and wear your baby while working on computers, please protect baby and purchase the Honest Company organic radiation blanket. Seriously, it’s smart.
Trick # 7 Drink, Eat and Breastfeed:
You might think that you won’t be eating as much now that you are not growing a baby- guess again! I was starving like no other the first two weeks of breastfeeding. You burn more calories breastfeeding than anything else- I swear! I actually lost weight all but 5 lbs of my pregnancy weight and in less than 3 weeks. All I was doing was breastfeeding no working out. If you want to make it easier on you to be a champion of breastfeeding you have to continue to push the liquids aka water, lots of water and eat. You are making baby food, it takes food and liquid to make food and liquid. It’s like Jesus turning water into wine, but moms we turn water into breast milk. I will say about week 4 1/2 I had my first taste of beer. I split one with my husband and it defiantly helped my milk production, plus it tasted so refreshing! I daily try and have oatmeal or dates and that so far has worked to help keep a nice flow to my milk production. I haven’t yet found a breast milk tea to write about. They all so far are not my favorite…
Trick #8 Goats Milk:
Still having trouble?! Goats milk is here to help. It is the closest to mothers milk possible. For more on the specifics and the why’s, click here from Dr. Sears explaining more about the benefits of goats milk. If you don’t know Dr. Sears you should he wrote a fantastic book on vaccines as well as other big topics for parenting. He also is still in practice if you are in OC & SD he is easy to visit in San Clemente where his offices are. Goats milk is also is easier to digest and natural ( instead of store bought formula). It can be a great addition to breast milk. If in a bind and you didn’t have time to pump this is a great option. It does lack so additional nutrients in the raw to be used by itself unless you make your own goats milk formula. Here is a link to another blog I love ( Weed’em & Reap) for her recipe for goats milk formula. I would do this before ever even considering a store bought formula. The nice thing is you can get powdered goats milk and have it handy for anytime you need as well.
-XObabies in bloom, baby formula, baby wearing, boba carrier, breast is best, breast milk, breastfeeding, breastfeeding classes, breastfriend, feeding, goats milk, honest company, lactation consultants, lansinoh, latching, milk, mom groups, motherlove, nursing pillows, organic milk
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