Like every new mother, we are all entering this new life, new beginning with a blindfold on. Of course most of us have the sister that had the easy experience breastfeeding, or the friend who had such a difficult time that she gave up after the first week. Or maybe, you’ve never known anyone who has breastfed, but you’ve read every article about ‘How to Successfully Breastfeed’ or articles of other mothers’ experiences, good or bad.
With breastfeeding…you will never know how it will go for you until you do it. Every experience is different than the next. Here are 5 tips that will hopefully distress you and make the path to successfully breastfeeding an easier one.
- Start breastfeeding with an open mind. If the baby doesn’t latch on right away or if it hurts you, don’t worry! Try again! As silly as it sounds, practice makes perfect. Don’t give up right away. In most cases it takes a few tries and a lot of patience. Just relax! No, really, relax those shoulders, it will help your little one latch on!
- Make sure you meet with the Lactation Consultant at the hospital, or schedule an appointment with one very soon after giving birth. No new mother is a breastfeeding pro on her first try. So why not let the professionals help? Lactation Consultants give you tons of tips and multiple nursing positions to try with your baby.
- Invest in a boppy or breastfeeding pillow. Your arms and back will thank you for this one. You’ll need one hand for your breast, and your other hand to help guide the baby to your nipple. The pillow gives the baby support and gives you use of both hands. Also, Dad can use the pillow, too, as extra arm support when holding the baby. When your baby gets older the boppy can be a nice pillow to let him or her lean on.
- Find a nipple cream, or you can even use your own breast milk to apply on your nipples after each feeding. During the first few weeks of breastfeeding your nipples will become sore and maybe even raw. The cream or milk will definitely help sooth them. For even more comfort, Lasinoh Soothies Gel Pads will give you instant relief!
- Set up your nursing station at home for nighttime feedings: a comfortable place to sit, lots of water, some healthy snacks, your breast pillow or boppy, nipple cream, something to do, and definitely don’t forget the burp cloths. Having all of this ready to go before you fall asleep will make breastfeeding so much easier for nighttime feedings. For daytime feedings, don't forget your nursing necklace and nursing cover!
These 5 tips should help make the first few weeks a little easier for you. Remember to keep trying and to ask for help or advice when you need it. You will do great!
For more advice and tips on the joys of pregnancy: before, during, and after, visit Blissful Belly