If you are a mom-to-be, here are some breastfeeding tips.
When I was pregnant with our first child, I started debating whether I would breastfeed or formula feed our baby. I had heard plenty of stories of the pain associated with nursing, and being the wimp that I am, I honestly was a little anxious about the idea of being in more pain after birth. “When would the pain end?” I thought.
I also considered all of the benefits to breastfeeding. The immune system boost for baby, weight-loss for me, and the fact that it’s free, just to name a few. I came to the conclusion that I would try my best to breastfeed, and if it didn’t work out, formula would be my plan B.
I am so glad I made that decision and thankful that both of my babies had zero latch problems. Oh and let me tell you, I have an extremely LOW pain tolerance. I am talking a zero on a scale of one to ten. So when I started breastfeeding and noticed the stomach pains from my uterus contracting, it was totally reasonable. If I can handle it, anyone can! I am a weakling! (Also, the pain from the contractions only reminded me that my uterus was working hard to shrink back down to size after hosting my 8lb baby. Do what you gotta do uterus. Just pleeeease shrink!)
The lactation consultant at the hospital was a huge help and taught me so much about nursing that I had never considered before. I also took advice from several friends and family members and decided to compile everything I learned and put it in one place. **I am not a lactation consultant. These are simply breastfeeding tips that helped me when nursing my children.**
So if you have already nursed babies, you know the drill. But if you are an expecting mom, check out my tips below and feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below.
- After birth, while waiting for milk to come in, hand express your colostrum and rub on your nipples to help relieve the initial soreness. The hospital will also give you a little bottle of lanolin for that.
- Feeding baby should take about 10 minutes on each breast (that’s typically all baby should need or else you’re a human pacifier)
- Nurse baby every 3 hours from time you start. Example: if you start nursing at 9am then start next session at noon, 3, etc.
- Start on breast you left off. Example: Nurse 10 min on right breast then burp baby & nurse 10 min on left. 3 hrs later start on left side to avoid over production in one breast
- Nurse baby when he wakes up (The Baby Wise book’s main idea is for baby to eat, play, then sleep so that the baby doesn’t learn to fall asleep while feeding)
- When baby is in a nursing position, the ear, shoulder & hip should be aligned
- If your nipple hurts during a breastfeeding session, then the baby’s latch is probably wrong
- “let down” feels tingly in your breast and that means the milk is about to pour out of you – watch out! 😉
- Relax- milk will not “let down” when you are tense, stressed or dehydrated
- When getting ready to nurse, get a big glass of water within reach. Literally, as the milk is leaving your body it will leave you feeling very parched!
- Milk will come in 3-5 days after delivery. You will need breast pads after your milk comes in to avoid leaking through your clothes. I made my own using this tutorial. (My photo below does not look nearly as good as the ones on the tutorial. Sorry mine look so raggedy!)You can also purchase disposable ones in the baby section at Target & Walmart for about $5-$10, or buy in bulk on amazon here.
- During the first few weeks after birth, at night you may wake up in a puddle of milk because it is very irregular in the beginning and tends to leak everywhere. In order to avoid that mess, I would use a hand towel or thick burp cloth and fold it over for extra thickness and place over my breasts, under my shirt for absorption.
- Nurse for 10 min per breast. At first it is fore-milk and at the end comes the hind-milk which is the thicker, high calorie “dessert” for baby. If baby gets too much fore-milk and not enough hind, this can cause gassiness in baby.
- To break the latch, gently stick your finger against your nipple in baby’s mouth
- To burp baby, gently lift them straight up and down three times then place on your shoulder and pat back
Aside from the breastfeeding tips, I also wanted to suggest a few items I love that help me with my lactation dedication. 😉
- When nursing in public, if you want to cover up your “goods”, might I suggest an UDDER COVER. I have two, I love them, and if you use our promo code LIVEFREI29 you can get a free one from their website and just pay the shipping fees (which are usually under $12)
- Another item I love is nursing bras. I am a big fan of Target’s Gilligan & O’Malley nursing bras which are only $16.99. They have a great shape to them and hold up very well. The price is also wonderful compared to others you might find at actual maternity stores.
- My Medela pump saved me when I was working part-time after baby number one, and also after baby number two when I needed some relief. There will be times when your breasts will feel so tight/on the verge of explosion, and you will wish you had a breast pump. That is just the honest truth.
- Gotta love the boppy pillow. It fits around your mid-section to lay baby on top of to get him closer to your breast. I have two different pillow cases for mine which is helpful when Moo spits up on one. I can just put the clean case on while the dirty one is getting washed. I really hope that these breastfeeding tips will be helpful to you and would love to hear any tips that you may have. Just leave a comment in the section below. I love to hear your thoughts!
What advice would you offer an expectant mother?