Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips for New Mothers
Whether you are a new mom or have been “down this road before,” breastfeeding can be one of the most rewarding and empowering experiences. But that doesn’t mean it always comes easy! Nursing can be overwhelming when you have a newborn and are low on sleep (especially when they just can’t seem to latch!). So, we have gathered ten tips to help you calmly and confidently take on nursing.
1. Wait for the Milk to Come In
Throughout pregnancy, your body produces colostrum, a nutrient-rich pre-milk your baby needs in its first few days of life. Two to six days after birth, your body will start producing milk; but talk to your doctor or lactation consultant if you are concerned about the time.
2. Get Comfortable
Set up shop! Whether it is in the nursery or your favorite corner in the house, set up the space to feel comfortable and have access to what you need. This includes pillows, blankets, a book, or your phone. And make sure to include the essentials: burp cloths, breast pads, lanolin, etc. This should be a place you can return to anytime you need.
3. Suit Up!
Get the equipment you need to help you feel comfortable, and your baby gets what they need. For the baby, this includes diapers, wet bags, burp cloths, bibs, etc. For you, you may want to consider nursing bras and tops to help you quickly adjust when your baby needs it most.
4. You (and your baby) Set the Schedule
Your breastfeeding schedule is up to you and your newborn's needs. This means that, if you are comfortable, you should breastfeed whenever and wherever you want! If you prefer to nurse at home, then bake it into your schedule. Just a note, most moms cut back after six months to two years.
5. Get the Latch Right
At the hospital or birth center, ask for a nurse or lactation consultant to check your latch. It’s vital to get the latch right at the beginning. General tips for what a good latch looks like: (1) Your baby’s nose is nearly touching your breast, (2) the lips are flanged outward in a kissy face, and (3) the mouth is positioned over the nipple, covering half an inch of the lower breast. It’s important to note that stabbing pain is not normal. Do not push through it; place your finger in your newborn's mouth to break the suction and try again.
6. Stay Hydrated & Full
Your milk comes from water. Stay hydrated as your body figures out exactly how much milk to produce. And as you refill that reusable water bottle, also have a snack! It takes 500 extra calories to make milk and feed your newborn. So as you are feeding your baby, give yourself something to munch on.
7. Hungry Hungry Baby
Newborns are always hungry! You would be hungry, too, if your stomach were the size of an egg. Babies need to refuel often, so don’t be shocked about how often they need to feed. Breast milk works on supply and demand, so the greater the demand, the more milk your body will produce, so don’t worry about supply.
8. Tend to the Nipples
We all know it, but nipples are a very sensitive area, and after nursing non-stop, they will be even more sensitive. The good news is that you are your best remedy! Breast milk helps soothe chaffed nipples. If that doesn’t work, try lanolin or tea bags for a warm compress.
9. Ask for Help
Whether it's milk supply, latch difficulty, or clogged milk ducts, help is all around! Your OB/GYN, pediatrician, or hospital may have breastfeeding support groups for new moms. Pull in your partner for support to help; sometimes, it takes four hands to get everything right. And if your insurance covers it consider a lactation consultant.
10. Make Time for Self-care
We mean the kind of self-care outside of soothing your tender nipples! During pregnancy, you may have developed stretch marks or loose skin. Apply Dermaclara patches to the areas you want to treat and start finding your post-pregnancy body. Dermaclara SILICONEFUSION™ technology creates a microclimate, locking in moisture and boosting collagen production, leading to smooth, taut skin.