Breastfeeding is one of the easiest ways to give your baby a healthy start. From reducing the risk of allergies and infections to the intimate bond of skin-to-skin contact, it comes with numerous benefits for both you and your newborn.
Here are five of our favorite breastfeeding tips for new moms.
Breastfeeding Tips For Nursing Moms
Easy ways to avoid pain & discomfort while breastfeeding
Some babies have trouble latching which can lead to pain, bleeding and cracked nipples. Thankfully, there are easy remedies to prevent them!
- The first line of defense is your own breast milk, so don’t be afraid to use a bit on sensitive areas to relieve pain.
- If they’re still sore and chafed, try using a purified lanolin after each nursing session to relieve your skin.
- If you’re looking for something more DIY, a warm teabag makes an excellent hot compress and the tannins in the tea help heal blisters and cracks.
Need more help? Look for lactation support groups through La Leche.
Breastfeed in the first six months to maximize the benefits
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) does recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. Following that, they recommend breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age. From there, the continuations of breastfeeding is up to the mother and what she feels is right for her baby.
Breastfeed on-demand to increase your milk supply.
The more you feed, the more milk your body produces. Trying to put the baby on a strict schedule may not be beneficial to the baby, especially if they are hungry and want to eat or be comforted immediately. Nighttime feedings greatly help with supply, so even though it may be exhausting and really rough on your sleep patterns, rest (or no-rest) assured you’re helping to boost your milk supply.
Try different breastfeeding positions to see which works best for you.
There are many different ways to breastfeed, and not every position will work for every baby. Try different positions until you find a few that work best.
The most popular positions are:
- The Cross-cradle Hold: Where you hold your baby so that she lies tummy-to-tummy with you.
- The Football Hold: Where you gently prop your baby under your arm like a very, very fragile football. Yes, like a football
- The Reclining Position: Where you lie on your side with your back and hips aligned.
- The Vertical Baby Position: Where your baby rests upright in front of you either against or straddling your thigh.
- The Laid-back Position: Where you position your baby vertically on your chest or belly.
Count wet diapers to understand how much milk you’re producing.
Moms often worry that their baby isn’t getting enough milk when breastfeeding, but that’s natural! When it comes to breastfeeding, it can be hard to tell how much your baby is eating. Counting wet diapers and monitoring weight gain are easy ways to know that your baby is indeed getting enough milk. A baby should have at least 5-6 wet diapers per day and your doctor will make sure your baby is gaining the appropriate weight at the right rate at your pediatric check-up appointments.
Be patient with yourself.
When you’re still pregnant your body starts producing colostrum. Colostrum is a nutrient-rich, syrupy, pre-milk that your baby needs in its first few days of life. After two to three days your body typically starts producing milk; however, it can take five or six days for some moms. If you’re concerned or need extra help, make sure you reach out to your doctor or a lactation consultant.
We’re here to help!
When it comes to breastfeeding (and parenting, too!) having a proper support team is vital. When you feel supported and have go-to resources you trust, you’re more likely to nurse successfully. Baby Box University is full of expert advice from breastfeeding, to safe sleep and more. Sign up today to receive a free Baby Box and access to our expert resources.