First of all, people who think breastfeeding is easy; let me tell you, it’s not an easy task. Calling breastfeeding easy is an injustice to the women who invest their time and body to breastfeed their babies. But here i will share 13 breastfeeding tips to make this process little easier for you specially if you are a first time mom.
Breastfeeding seems like the most natural thing but it can take lots of work to make it natural. Breastfeeding your newborn baby doesn’t always come naturally or easily, especially in the beginning. It has its own ups and down.
If you’ve never breastfed before, you might think it’ll come naturally to you and your newborn. You will offer up your nipple to a hungry baby and he will latches on and sucks until he is full. But it didn’t happen in a way we think about it. Sometime it takes a bit of trial and errors before you have found the right way for you.
Once you have passed the initial trial and error days of finding the best trick to you, it becomes one the most beautiful and rewarding responsibility of the motherhood. So the more you know, more confident you will feel.
Table of Contents
Stages of breastfeeding
Before giving tips for breastfeeding it is important to learn about its stages. It is surprise to know that breast milk comes in three stages and each stage is design to meet your little baby’s requirement. Your breast milk changes over the weeks.
When you deliver your newborn baby, your breast will not produce milk immediately. At first your breast will produce thick, yellow substance that is called Colostrums. This is a blend of protein, vitamins and minerals. Colostrum helps provide your little one with the nutrients and antibodies he needs to fight infections in the early days. At first, your baby will need only few teaspoons at a time.
2. Transitional milk
After 3 to 5 days colostrum is replaced by transitional milk. It contains lower levels of immunoglobulins and protein than colostrum but has more lactose, fat and calories. This is a stage between colostrum and mature milk.
3. Mature milk
This is the final and last stage of milk that comes between 10 to 15 days after delivery. This is white in color and thinner than transitional milk like skim milk.
13 Tips to breastfeed your baby
To help you in the process you breastfeeding, we have provided you some to tips that will help you in this journey of motherhood.
1. Have patience
The number one tip for breastfeeding is to have patience. Patience is a key to have success. After delivery you will produce colostrum which is a thick and yellow substance, and it will take few days for it to convert in mature milk. But for those early days colostrum will provide all the essential protein, vitamin and mineral that are needed for the healthy growth of your baby.
It takes time for a perfect breastfeeding session. You might think that it is easy but it’s not. Practice makes everything perfect. Breastfeeding is a huge adjustment and can take time.
But the best thing about this is, once you and your baby figure out how things will work, how to hold and how to latch, you both will enjoy this process and it’s totally worth it. Till than try to stay relax and patience.
2. Don’t worry about your supply
My another tip for breastfeeding is to stop worrying about your milk supply. You have heard from many moms about how to know that baby is having enough milk during each feeding session and you are producing enough milk for your little one. It can be hard to tell but don’t worry there are some ways to ensure that your baby is well-fed.
- Count for dirty diapers. Baby should have at least 6 or more wet diapers and have 4 to 6 bowel movements each day.
- Check whether baby is fussy or sleeping and playing properly.
- Check for baby’s weight gain. Most babies lose weight during first week after birth but after that they should be back on their birth weight and should gain around 5 to 7 ounces per week.
If everything is fine then there is no need to worry about supply.
3. Drink lots of water
Water is the base of breast milk. If you will not have enough water, you will not produce enough milk. Try to drink lots to water to keep your supply good. You should drink at least 3 liter of water a day while breastfeeding. Keep a water bottle with you all the time in order to keep you hydrated and regulate your milk supply.
4. Healthy diet is always necessary
It become very important to eat a healthy diet when you breastfeed. Healthy diet is a key to make breastfeeding successful.
- Incorporate healthy fats and specially omega 3 fatty acids
- Eat a well balanced diet full of protein, grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables
- Take you multivitamins daily till you breastfeed
5. Let your baby latch
A good latch is one of the most important part of successful breastfeeding. Some babies are very good at latching from birth but some may takes a while to practice it. Only sucking on nipples will leave your baby hungry and will also make your nipples sore and cracked.
When your baby is latching on, aim your nipple towards the roof of his mouth. This way he will latch on to the nipple, as well as some of the areola beneath it. This means he can draw both the nipple and some breast tissue into his mouth and feed well. The latch should feel comfortable rater than a pain and should feel like tugging sensation. Your baby will also feel comfortable to you and you will also feel comfortable while feeding your baby.
6. Newborns nurse a lot
Yes, newborn nurse a lot and they need frequent feeding session in 24 hours. Newborn needs to feed every 2 to 3 hours that means you may need to feed 8 to 12 times a day. Breastfeeding newborn can be a full time job. It can take up to 20 to 45 minutes per feeding session.
A baby who nurse very frequently in the first few days will not lose excessive amount of weight and are less likely to have issues like jaundice. Frequent feeding sessions will keep your milk supply updated.
7. Don’t use pacifier too soon
Babies love sucking and by using pacifier too soon can distract them from breastfeeding. Because sucking a pacifier is different than sucking on a breast. It is recommended to use pacifier only after 3 to 4 weeks of birth once breast-feeding is well established. Once your baby is settled into a breast-feeding routine, you can introduce pacifier.
8. Leaks can be expected
Leaky breast while breastfeeding is not a problem, it is actually a good sign that shows your biological need to breastfeed your baby. Pumping is not always a solution of leaky breast; even it can make the problem worse and will keep your supply up. Some moms start to leak milk on the time of feed automatically. It leaks are becoming a problem for you, place a towel under your tees or you can use nursing pads.
9. Breastfeeding should not be painful
However, breastfeeding is not easy but it should not be painful also. If baby has a good latch, breastfeeding should not be painful. It can take time for a successful feeding session. Pain can de due to a bad latch but there are few more reason of pain while breastfeeding.
- Blocked milk ducts can cause pain while feeding. Frequent breastfeeding can break the blockage so keep breastfeeding.
- Sore nipples are due to extra work that your breast are doing. A moisturizer after each feeding session will help in that. A good feeding position and proper latching will also help.
10. Take care of your nipples while breastfeeding
While breastfeeding and frequent feeding sessions can make your nipples dry and sore. Nipples are already a sensitive area for most women. Bad latching can cause pain in them. Your own milk can help to soothe that pain and soreness. It’s ok to let the milk dry on your nipples and this will soothe your nipples.
Try to minimize the use of soap and shampoo while taking bath. If you have dry and cracked nipple, a soothing lotion will help that. Apply that lotion after each feeding session.
11. Keep baby awake while breastfeeding
Babies sleep a lot in the first few days after birth. They feel very comfortable while sucking and feeding. Most babies prefer to sleep when they are comfortable and sleep while feeding. Only few people will give you tip that keep baby awake while breastfeeding. If a baby latch, does a few sucks and sleep, he will not enough milk and you won’t be able to produce enough milk later on. So try to keep baby awake while each feeding session and encourage him to keep sucking and swallowing.
12. Ask for help anytime
If breastfeeding is tougher than you expected, try not to worry about it and don’t be sad. It’s a part of motherhood and some moms and babies take time. If things are not going well and your baby is losing weight, is very fussy and crying while feeding, or your nipples are sore and tender, then try to take help from lactation consultant who will guide you better and make the task easy for you. Breastfeeding can be a roller coaster for you but with little time, practice and help it will get better.
A good way to master breastfeed is to feed when you feel like baby is hungry. There is no fix time and routine to follow, your little one is very small to understand any routine. When-ever you think he needs to feed, go ahead and feed; this is the only best way to do it.
13. Choose correct breastfeeding position
One of the most important tip for breastfeeding is to choose correct position. The process of breastfeeding should be natural and to make it natural you should choose a comfortable position for both you and your baby. A comfortable position makes breastfeed easier. In early days try to feed him more skin to skin, it will help baby to feel comfortable. Here are some of the basic breastfeeding positions to try.
This is the most common position and in this position baby and mother should be chest to chest. In this position the mum’s arm supports the baby at the breast. The baby’s head is cradled near her elbow, and her arm supports the infant along the back and neck.
In this position the mum lies on her side and faces the baby. The baby’s mouth is in line with the nipple. This is the best position during night and for mother who had C-section.
In this position the baby is positioned at the mother’s side, with their body and feet tucked under the mum’s arm. The baby’s head is held in the mum’s hand. The mum’s arm may also rest on a pillow with this hold.
Cross cradle position
In this position mother uses the opposite arm to support the infant, with the back of the baby’s head and neck being held in the mother’s hand. Her other hand is able to support and shape the breast if required.
Reclined position (laid-back position)
In this position, mother lean back comfortably, semi-reclined, on a couch or bed with pillows supporting her upper back, neck and head. Place baby on you, tummy to tummy, lying on your chest with the baby’s cheek on your breast.
Signs that baby is hungry
All babies give signs when they are hungry. Some of the sign can be like
Babies give signs when they are hungry. Some of the sign can be like
- Coming to the breast when you hold them
- Sucking his little hand
- Opening his mouth
- Baby is crying, fussy and not sleeping properly
- Sucking his lips
- Taking his tongue out
- Making noise
- Wake up from sleep and opening his eyes