If you’ve chosen to breastfeed your baby, you’ve chosen wisely. You and your baby will be able to take advantage of all of the numerous benefits breastfeeding has to offer. But, nursing can be very time consuming and for some new moms, a very frustrating experience. Read this guide to learn 10 easy tips to ensure you meet your breastfeeding milestones, whether it be 6 months, 1 year or longer:
1. Establish a Support Network Join a nursing mom forum online, or get added to a mom group on social media. You can and should also utilize the advice and help of friends and family members who have nursed before and may be able to offer some helpful insight. Support from fellow moms is key and will help you get through the rough patches.
2. Locate a Lactation Consultant Lactation consultants are your friend. You will have one in the hospital to help you get your baby to latch on. And, most insurance companies pay for the consultants to regularly visit with you once you are home and are experiencing difficulties.
3. Wear the Right Clothes Feel comfortable when nursing. It will help you relax and make feedings much easier. Opt for stretchy yoga pants and soft tops with easy access to the breast area. Tops with snap openings are great (and faster than buttons), so are cardigans, V-necks and cape styles. You should also invest in a few good nursing bras to keep your growing chest in check, and to allow easy access for feedings.
4. Get a Great Pump Ask your girlfriends or moms on forums which breast pumps they have used, and you can also ask a lactation consultant for a recommendation prior to your delivery. Some insurance companies actually provide a pump because it’s covered under your plan; so be sure to call your provider to see which kind you are able to access.
5. Ask for help Nursing can be frustrating for new moms, so it’s important you focus on that and only that, especially during the crucial first weeks. Ask your partner to take on the brunt of the chores at home. Ask friends and family members to tend to pets and your other children.
6. Boost Your Supply Dieting may have to sit on the back burner until you are finished nursing. Doctors recommend you consume an extra 500 calories each day to ensure you are producing enough nourishment for your newborn. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Pumping after and between feeds is also another great way to increase supply. There are also supplements, lactation cookies and special teas you can try.
7. Use Calming Techniques If your baby doesn’t latch on right away, or is refusing your milk at first, don’t stress. Turn to coping techniques such as squeezing a stress ball, listening to soothing tunes, lighting a candle, taking a bath, or taking a walk to help calm you down and refocus your energy.
8. Utilize the Right Accessories Be sure to take advantage of useful accessories like nursing pads. They are inserted into your bra to sop up any leakage and can be squeezed out into a bottle (every little drop counts!). You can also wear a large scarf or cape for style and function when you are out and about with your baby. And always have a burp towel ready to wipe up any mess.
9. Get Rest Producing milk and feeding another human being is taxing on your body. Be sure to sleep when the baby sleeps so you have energy to produce enough milk and have the stamina for night feedings.
10. Have Ready to Read Resources What to Expect is a brand for moms that has been around for years. And their resource books and online websites will help you get the answers you need quickly. These 10 tips will help you keep your eye on the prize, and allow you to breastfeed for as long as you wish; while making it a fulfilling and enjoyable activity for both mom and baby.