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30 Breastfeeding Secrets Every New Mom Should Know

Posted on January 30 2018

Breastfeeding Tips Every New Mom should Know

Are you planning to breastfeed your new little bundle of joy when he or she arrives? Congrats if you will be able to breastfeed, and kudos to you for choosing to provide your baby with Mother Nature's perfect infant nutrition and all the benefits it offers your new baby! You may be a little nervous or apprehensive about the mechanics and the practicalities of breastfeeding, and this is perfectly natural. After all, you're facing a whole new way of life that involves caring for a tiny being who'll depend on you in every way imaginable, and it's unfamiliar territory that you're about to enter.

It should be reassuring to know that women have been breastfeeding since the beginning of time, and babies have thrived on breastmilk throughout the ages! Still, it's a new challenge at a time when it can feel like everything is a new challenge, so it's wise to learn as much as you can before you start. Here are 30 breastfeeding "secrets" to shed some light on the subject and prepare you for the day you finally get to meet your precious new baby and give him his very first meal ...

  1. Expect it to hurt -- at least a little -- at first. Your nipples will feel cracked, dry and sore.  This is normal so worry, and it will get better. 

  2. Hang in there! Your nipples will "toughen up" and that soreness and discomfort you feel in the early days of nursing will go away!

  3. Get yourself some purified lanolin (available at pharmacies). It's so soothing on sore nipples! You can also try coconut oil. (Neither one will harm your baby.)

  4. Hook up with a lactation expert -- before you start nursing. She'll be an invaluable source of knowledge and support. Keep her number on speed dial!

  5. Learn how to get a good latch by making sure that the lower part of your breast and the areola get into the baby's mouth so that your nipple hits her upper palate, which stimulates suckling.

  6. Experiment with different breastfeeding positions until you find the one (or a couple) that work best for you and your baby. If both you and your baby are comfortable, you'll both have an easier feeding time!

  7. Invest in some comfortable nursing bras, tank tops, nursing hoodies, and other nursing-friendly clothes. They'll make your life easier, and today's options are downright stylish!

  8. Stock up on nursing pads. (You'll be glad you're wearing them when you're in the grocery store and your milk suddenly starts flowing!) The leak is real!

  9. Avoid formula if you can while you're in the hospital and for the first few weeks at home. Feeding formula, in the beginning, can interfere with your milk production.

  10. Make sure your baby's feet are touching something -- your arm, a pillow, etc. It makes them feel more secure.

  11. Don't push your baby to your breast holding the back of his head, which encourages him to clamp down. Instead, hold the back of his neck and gently guide him to your breast.

  12. If you're planning for your baby to be willing to take a bottle when you're not available, offer him his first between 4-6 weeks after his birth. If you wait longer, he may refuse it altogether.

  13. Use a footstool if you nurse sitting up -- especially if you're on the short side. It can also help ease the soreness of a healing episiotomy.

  14. If your baby nods off while nursing, try tickling the bottom of his feet or stroking his chin to wake him up until you're sure he's had enough.

  15. Look into getting a quality hospital grade breast pump before you take the baby home. They're usually more powerful than anything you can buy, and you might need that extra pumping power in the beginning while your milk supply is still establishing itself.

  16. You might also consider a "double electric pump", with a graduated suction level setting and a variety of flange sizes.  There are also direct pump to bags to save time and make storing breast milk easier. 

  17. Ease back into work by starting back on a Wednesday or a Thursday so you're only away from your baby for a few days.

  18. Breastfed babies establish how much milk they'll need within the first month. That same amount is all they'll need for the first 6-months. (Nix the formula "rules"!)

  19. Don't over-pump believing you have to "stock up" once you return to work. You can end up with clogged ducts or other problems. You really need only a small reserve in the freezer!

  20. Ask your lactation expert to help you choose a pump with a flange that fits your breast. (They're not "one size fits all"!)

  21. To encourage your milk to let down, consider "galactagogues" -- foods/herbs specifically made to stimulate milk production. 

  22. Invest in a nursing pillow. It can take stress off your neck, back and shoulders since it wraps around your body.

  23. Consider trying "laid-back breastfeeding", which simply involves leaning back slightly or lying down with your baby (in a diaper only) face down against your chest for skin-to-skin contact. Gently guide your baby's mouth to your breast. Most babies, say, proponents, will instinctively latch on deeply.

  24. Don't let anybody tell you that your baby "might not be getting enough" because your breasts are small!

  25. If you're uncomfortable with breastfeeding in front of friends or relatives (or in public), invest in a nursing cover or wrap.  Here are tips if you have unsupportive people around you. 

  26. Cherish the bond between you and your baby while nursing.  It can go by too fast!

  27. If you've set a date for weaning, but when it arrives your baby is teething, put it off for now. It's harder to wean a baby who's already going through a stressful situation like teething.  If you must, try breastmilk popsicles to help. 

  28. Have a weaning plan, and wean gradually, starting with the feeding that's most inconvenient for you or the one your baby seems least interested in.

  29. If you're not in a hurry to wean, let your baby decide when she really wants to nurse. They can nurse for many years! In other words, don't offer the breast, but don't refuse it either if she really wants it. It's slow, but effective in the long run!  

  30. If your breasts become engorged take a short hot shower with a light massage to release some of the milk before pumping. You can also try applying an ice pack for 10 minutes before pumping.

And for all of your nursing wardrobe needs, be sure to spend some time browsing through the great selection at Fabbricadellearti to help you nurse whenever and where ever!