Breastfeeding is amongst some of the challenges of being a new mom, breastfeeding for the first time and coping with the new changes of having a baby. It is always nice to find breastfeeding tips for new mothers. Because just like anything you start that is new to you the more you do it the less overwhelming it becomes.
Breastfeeding will become a natural part of your daily routine. Getting a hang of especially, in the beginning, takes some time. But it is not IMPOSSIBLE! I remember curling my toes tight because of the pain.
I’ll be honest I hated breastfeeding for the first month. After a month your nipples are used to breastfeeding and then it becomes a wonderful experience.
However, I was stressed! the pain was gone but I didn’t know how to get my baby on a schedule, how much she even needed and I really wanted to enjoy breastfeeding.
And guess what I found! The Nurse Smart Breastfeeding Handbook! I was amazing at how much this handbook and learning these different nursing positions changed my breastfeeding experience!
If I were you I would defiantly check this amazing handbook out! But in the meantime, as you take a birth class (if you do) or ever a breastfeeding class (yes they do have those!).
It is important to observe proper breastfeeding techniques. These techniques are meant to let you make the most of breastfeeding and contribute to a healthy development for your baby.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has many advantages for both the baby and the mother. There are many substances in breast milk that can’t be found in formula. More so, there are fewer complications associated with breast milk than with formula.
It has been advertised time and again that it is best for the babies if they are breastfed for the first six months even up to two years.
So why is breast milk so beneficial for the baby? First of all, only breast milk contains colostrum which is essential for the baby to take. Commercially made milk cannot simulate the colostrum made by a mother.
The colostrum contains natural antibodies and immune globulin that are responsible for keeping the baby free from illness for the first few months of its life.
“BREASTFEEDING IS EMPOWERING. IT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT THAT TAKES DEDICATION I DIDN’T REALIZE I POSSESSED. – AMY C.”
Another advantage breast milk has over formula is that it allows the mother to save money as formula can be expensive. The baby can better adapt to breast milk. Their poop is not smelly and they don’t have any difficulty defecating compared to formula.
Breastfeeding has also been approved to be one of the family planning methods that a family can observe.
Since breastfeeding has been given so much importance, many women have been made aware. However, despite the awareness, many mothers still report of breast problems associated with lactation.
These problems are most often than not, associated with improper breastfeeding techniques. In order to lower down the incidence of breast-related problems due to lactation, it is important that mothers observe the proper techniques of breastfeeding.
Ultimately, both the mother as well as the baby will benefit from the proper observance of these techniques. Here are breastfeeding tips for first-time mothers!
Prepare Your Breasts
First of all, you need to prepare your breast for milk-production. There are various nipple exercises to perform in order to prepare your nipple to deliver the breast milk to your baby. One of these exercises would involve routinely pinching the nipple.
Keep It Clean
Second and what most mothers fail to realize is how to keep the nipple clean before the baby latches on to it for feeding. When you plan to breastfeed, you should avoid using soap on your nipple. If this cannot be avoided, your nipple should be wiped using a soft cloth soaked in clean water to make sure your nipple is clean before your baby feeds on it.
Third and perhaps the most important step is to allow your baby to properly latch on to your nipple. You will know when your baby is latched on properly when your baby’s mouth covers the entire areola and not just the nipples. However, this depends on how big or small the baby’s mouth is.
If a baby’s mouth is smaller it may not cover the entire areola compared to if the baby’s mouth is bigger. It is essential that your baby should latch on properly so that he or she can properly stimulate the let-down reflex of your breasts wherein the milk will go down the ducts and out your nipple.
To aid your baby is latching on properly, you should make use of their rooting reflex. This is manifested in the first few months of life. You stimulate your baby’s cheek, near their mouth using your nipple and their head will automatically turn towards the stimulation. Their mouth will open and be ready for receiving your nipple.
Once you’re done, you can aid your baby to stop latching on by inserting a clean pinky finger into the side of their mouth and propping it slightly open. Your baby will stop sucking and you can remove your nipple.
“EASY? MAYBE NOT. WORTH IT? ABSOLUTELY.”
Different Latching Positions
Fourth, doing different latching positions gives the nipples a nice break. Switch upholds from football hold across the body that way the nipples are not being pulled in the same direction every time.
Switching positions saved me and my sore breasts. It was nice not having my nipples being pulled in the same direction every time I nursed. Doing this is one thing that helped me the most get through the first month of breastfeeding.
I also loved that The Nurse Smart Breastfeeding Handbook had a whole section on different breastfeeding positions which is amazing because you have visuals on how to correctly latch. Because if you baby latches wrong. OUCH!!!! it hurts.
Giving Full Feeds
To prevent sore nipples and breast engorgement you have to monitor the amount of time your baby sucks with each nipple.
It is usually advisable to spend 10-15 minutes on each breast to make sure that the breasts are completely emptied of milk. This will prevent breast engorgement.
The next time your baby feeds on your breast, let your baby feed on the last breast he or she fed on. This will completely empty the milk on that breast before you move on to the other breast.
Being patient is a very tough thing to do. There may be days you are frustrated and crying because your nipples are sore, cracking or bleeding. Know that it will not last forever the first month of breastfeeding is the hardest but stick with it because the more you do it the easier it will become.
If your breast is causing your lots of pain try doing hot or cold packs to help ease the pain. There are great breastfeeding products that you can try to help you while your nipples are still getting used to breastfeeding.
In all honesty, it took me a month to have my breast adjust, getting my baby to latch properly and to no longer have sore nipples. Some of the best products that helped me survive that first month I have listed below!
I truly loved breastfeeding. It was an amazing experience and a very special one at that. Being prepared for it is smart. It can be stressful for the first month or two. And having stress doesn’t help your milk come in.
The Nurse Smart Breastfeeding Handbook helped me to have a less stressful breastfeeding time. They have amazing schedules for you to use and a stress-free section. After your body going through so much to deliver your baby, the last thing you need is more stress!
Like I have said before give breastfeeding a good solid month. Once you have that month under your belt breastfeeding turns into a whole new amazing and joyful experience!
Do you have any concerns about breastfeeding? If so let me know in the comments below!
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