Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips Every New Mom Should Know
Breastfeeding can be a challenge for any mom regardless of whether this is your first baby or your fifth. Just as each child is different, your breastfeeding experience with each baby will also be unique.
#10 Breastfeed ASAP
Experts suggest breastfeeding your baby within the first hour after delivery. Your breasts will make colostrum before your milk comes in. This clear yellowish fluid contains powerful antibodies to help your baby’s immune system.
#9 Care for Your Nipples
Nursing can cause nipples to become irritated, cracked, and even bloody. To prevent this, let some of your milk dry on your nipples after each feeding. You can also try nipple balm with baby-safe ingredients (like lanolin) to help relieve chafing.
#8 Care for Yourself
Talk to your doctor about ideal caloric needs for breastfeeding moms, and follow your doctor’s orders. By eating enough of the right foods, you and your baby can thrive during the length of time you breastfeed.
#7 Meet with a Lactation Specialist
So many moms make the mistake of thinking that nursing should come naturally, and that difficulties mean that she’s failed. This is far from the truth. An article in Parents magazine says that between 25% to 30% of all moms have difficulty nursing. Issues can range from flat nipples to the baby latching on improperly. Lactation specialists can help you overcome these obstacles.
#6 Be Patient
For many moms and/or infants, it can take time to get the right rhythm, schedule, and feeding results. Don’t lose hope, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Seeking professional help and applying their advice for several months can make all the difference toward success.
#5 Say No to the Pacifier
Pacifiers and bottle nipples can confuse your baby. Bottle nipples require far less effort than breastfeeding to get milk, and the nipple shape is far different than the breast. The same concept goes for pacifiers as far as the nipple shape. Try offering your baby a clean fingertip to soothe him or her if hunger is not the issue.
#4 Know How Long to Feed
Allow your baby to nurse for about 15-20 minutes on each side, or until your breast feels soft again. There is no “right” amount of time; it may be different for each woman and baby depending on how much milk mom produces and how quickly the baby nurses.
#3 Feed on a Schedule
Many newborns sleep through when their next feeding is supposed to start. This can cause dehydration and low blood sugar if too much time passes between feedings, so stick to a schedule. Your baby should nurse every 2-3 hours, depending on his or her appetite.
#2 Pat Yourself on the Back
Breastfeeding a new baby can be overwhelming, so remember to congratulate yourself on a job well done. It’s easy to forget the wonder of creating a human being and feeding it with your own body. Remember that you’re a superwoman and don’t be too hard on yourself. Again, ask for help when you need it.
#1 Sleep in the Same Room
Experts at the Mayo Clinic recommend that your baby sleep in a basinette or crib for the first 6 months. This will help your baby feel secure that you’re close by, will reduce the risk of SIDS, and will make overnight feedings much easier.
Visit our Mother-Friendly birthing center, which follows the rigorous initiatives outlined by the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative. Our goal is to help your labor and delivery experience at West Suburban Medical Center at White Rock to be a positive and empowering one.