A raw blend of motherhood. Once a mother, your first instinct would be to feed your baby. Always. And that leads you in the search of breastfeeding tips, isn’t it?
This lands us to Breastfeeding and the nth number of questions/queries a mother wishes to excel into. My journey to being a mother came with many breastfeeding questions & self-doubts. Most of them just hues of my over-thinking.
To get my points clear on behalf of all the mothers, breastfeeding is hard! It sure is natural but it never comes out easy. Let down can be lengthy and time-taking, a good latch can be a hard catch, the right positioning of your baby & the breast.
The list doesn’t end here… milk supply, engorged breasts, slow letdown, and countless other problems! Of course, they can be handled with a few tricks here and major letdowns there.
That’s why we came up with these 8+ Breastfeeding Tips that will get you to surf like a pro in this motherhood journey.
8+ Breastfeeding Tips To Breastfeed Like A Pro
Reading about breastfeeding & having to breastfeed in real are two different experiences.
Breastfeeding doesn’t come easy, it takes time. Though the time period can differ, it knocks the door sooner or later. Don’t beat yourself down with questions. Everything will happen eventually!
In the context, I would like to enlighten that every mother is different and so is their breastfeeding journey. Breastfeeding can be a sensitive issue for many a mother given their reasons to choose or not choose to breastfeed. We respect your decision no matter what your choices are for whatever reasons!
1. Breastfeed As Soon As Possible!
Nurse as soon as possible is one of the most heard advice you’d come across and the most valid. Early establishment of nursing can help your baby induce the signals to feed onto the mother.
This way, the baby would learn faster and will react naturally to the breasts and will initiate the feed.
Sometimes, conditions occur that do not allow mothers to feed initially. Breastfeeding as soon as possible isn’t a degree and doesn’t determine milk flow and as a matter of fact, it doesn’t determine anything. It’s just a healthy call and can be skipped when needed.
A mother, in the end, is a mother and she’d know more, better about her baby irrespective of the conditions. Do not let yourself down with such factors. Your baby will recognize you, will bond with you no matter what. So, don’t put yourself down.
2. Feed on demand
One of the first instincts that an infant stimulates is to feed. Babies, hence are very well-acknowledged of when & how much to feed. It’s advisable to not alter your baby’s feeding on a clock.
As mothers, we worry often about our baby’s health & weight. Doubts like obesity are always at the doors. But despite our overthinking, Breastfeeding on demand can never alter your child’s weight.
Some other benefits of Feeding on Demand:
- I have talked diversely on how babies are the sole reason your body stimulates milk. The more your baby feeds upon you, the more your body stimulates milk.
- Breastfeeding is the stepping stone for you to bond with your baby. Having your baby to feed on you, skin-to-skin touch initiates trust in your baby towards you.
3. Right Positioning/Right Latch.
Having the right position for a right latch is important to have the baby feed on you properly or completely.
Latching is the connectivity of your baby’s mouth to the breast in such a way that it facilitates a good milk flow and helps your baby suckle onto the nipple with better access.
Try different positions that are favorable to you & the baby. Note: do not look for a position that can hurt your body structure. Some of the key points to look after while looking for the right position & latch:
- Try to have your baby suckle onto the areola and not just the nipple, if possible.
- Do not push their head to meet up your breasts. It can make them resist the milk altogether.
- Try to position yourself on the side with your baby’s mouth closer to your nipple.
- Keep them wrapped up in your arms to make them feel comfortable, sit comfortably and feed comfortably.
Let your baby lead whilst finding the best positions. It’s a natural process and they can do it better than us. So let them hold the brakes.
4. Avoid Loaded Breasts — Breastfeeding tips
Most of the time, mothers make more than the amount of milk their baby needs. It’s inevitable to have your breasts filled every hour.
Try to unload them as soon as possible. If the baby is not available or is full or has already fed and you still have milk left. Pump the milk out, do not outstand the milk in your breasts.
Outstanding milk in your breasts can result in swelling & hardening of your breasts. This swelling can be very painful and uncomfortable. Other than pumping, you can heat compress your breasts for an outflow, either by taking a hot shower or with hot compression.
The keyword is to not keep your breasts loaded.
5. Stay hydrated & active on a healthy diet.
It can be reckoning to hear ‘Stay hydrated’ every hour but I cannot explain enough the impact of water. Breast milk is 88% water. You cannot produce enough milk if you don’t have enough water. So, STAY HYDRATED!!
You can include juicy fresh, natural fruits to increase your water content along with water always at the platter. Avoid canned juices and opt for fresh, if you ask me.
Same goes with your diet, I’m not going to prolong your read by giving you magical beans to increase your milk supply but eat all, eat natural and eat fresh.
Don’t skip on healthy nutrients. But always go natural! If you are allergic to some food or deficient in some, consult your lactational expert the first thing you do.
6. Get a Breastfeeding Corner — Major Breastfeeding tips
In the initial months of breastfeeding, I spent most of my days in an uncomfortable position with back & arm pain. Organizing a breastfeeding corner gave me & my baby a lot of space.
Some of the major essentials to keep around:
- Recliner, chaise longue, arm chair+foot rest or a bed.
- A blanket to keep you & your baby warm, a snuggie blanket works the best.
- Headrest and tons of cushions & pillows.
- Breast friend Pillow.
I customized it with a lot of pillows, backrest, books, breastfeeding essentials and load more stuff. If you haven’t organized a breastfeeding corner yet, refer to this article on How to organize your home for a newborn & your postpartum journey
Organize this station where you feel the best of you, close to the yard, nice distance to the A/C & Heater. Keep the environment calm and stress-free. It literally helps!
Getting comfortable relaxes you which in turn relaxes your baby and proceeds in healthy stress less milk flow. In addition, it also helps you to find the perfect position for your baby to latch on.
7. Boost your Breasts
We discussed how important it is to stay hydrated & healthy to keep the breasts healthy. Now let’s take an outside walk. With continuous suckling down on your nipples, your breasts are going to sore up with dry, itchy chapped, cracked skin.
- Massage your breasts to have healthy blood flow. Massaging also relaxes your milk ducts and facilitates a good milk flow. You can use essential oils, massaging creams to go with.
- Have ointment to heal your cracked nipples if the case is serious.
- Hot showers also initiate a good blood & milk flow. They even ease off breast pain in a moderate amount.
- Do not wear tight clothes, they might agitate your skin and even block your milk ducts. Opt for loose clothes and feeding bras, if you may. Let it be windy, let your breasts be free.
Remember never to ignore discomfort or pain that doesn’t seem right. If it is unbearable, meet up with your lactational specialist. Get a thorough check-up and treatment, if needed.
8. Let Go Of Stress & Ask For Help
Stress and overthinking can create a stiff environment that can turn off your baby or upset them. Besides, stressing and self-doubting will get you to no good end. The key to reaching a good motherly goal is to be natural, to live naturally. Let go of the worries.
What has come is for the best. Remember, every problem has a solution and worrying constantly is not one of them. So, breath and everything will be fine.
Next up, you never have to handle it all alone! Get help whenever you need them. Extra hassle/workload/undesired situations can hinder your breastfeeding sessions, milk supply, and many other issues Ask for help whenever you need it, don’t stay silent or suffer silently.
You can ask your husband, your family, friends, midwife, lactational consultant. Be descriptive while sharing your concern and do not hold back in asking in what amount and how much attention you want.
Breastfeeding is still one of the most treasured memories of my life. A little up & down is part of life, we will sooner or later outlive that, too.
We tried to conclude all the tips to help you through this breastfeeding journey. If you still have queries & questions regarding breastfeeding or otherwise, let’s talk in the comment section down below.
In this mesmerizing, ever-flowing parenting journey, what made you keep going? All mothers, I ask of you to share your brave journeys, encouraging and empowering other mothers to breathe in and let this pregnancy/parenting journey flow like a river. Until then,