It seems like the never ending question for new moms (or experienced moms with newborns) is breastfed or bottle fed? When I was pregnant with baby number one, I wanted to breastfeed and took the approach that Id try but if it didn’t work out, I wouldn’t beat myself up about it. Three breastfed babies later, it’s safe to say I found my groove. For those moms thinking about nursing, here’s some breastfeeding 101 tips that will help you to get started.
1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. While I’m a firm believer in the benefits of breastfeeding, there are plenty of formula fed babies that are perfectly healthy. Don’t put so much pressure on nursing that it brings you into a depression. Plus, stressing can not only affect your milk, but also your supply.
2. Tap into your support system. Whether you call your sister, best friend, or lactation consultant, it’s important to have someone to help support you along the way! Your support person should be someone who has (successfully) breastfed, is able to answer questions, and provides you with encouragement.
3. Supply and demand MEANS supply and demand. When you supplement with formula, your body doesn’t know the baby is eating, therefore it won’t produce the supply to fulfill that feeding. Use methods like skin to skin and feeding on demand to help at first.
4. Don’t suffer through the pain. Breastfeeding shouldn’t be continuously painful. Ensure your baby’s latch is wide enough. Try different positions and use items like pillows or boppys to assist. If you become cracked or irritated call your doctor or midwife, in many cases a compound prescription can be prescribed. This miracle prescription will have you feeling better in no time! There’s also over the counter creams and lotions to use on sore nipples that are completely safe for babies.
5. Be prepared for a commitment. Breastfeeding is a huge commitment. If you want to maintain your supply, you’ll have to pump in those instances when you’re not feeding the baby. I always say nursing is basically like a full time job in itself. While it’s convenient because you always have your milk on hand, you have to schedule out everything you do based on when the baby will eat next. It isn’t as easy as mixing a bottle and requires you to take the time to stop what you’re doing to nurse.
Remember breastfeeding can be stress free, just by knowing the basics!
What questions did you or do you have about breastfeeding?