Breastfeeding Tips for a Smooth Breastfeeding Journey
Breastfeeding may seem like a difficult task, especially for a new mother; but it is the first interaction between you and your baby, and that is such magical moments. Breastfeeding creates a special bond between you and your baby, as he/she latches onto you while you satisfy his/her needs.
Breastfeeding may seem like a difficult task, especially for a new mother; but it is the first interaction between you and your baby, and that is such magical moments. Breastfeeding creates a special bond between you and your baby, as he/she latches onto you while you satisfy his/her needs. In conjunction with International Breastfeeding Week, I’m here to share with you some breastfeeding tips for a smooth breastfeeding journey!
Try to latch within the first hour of birth
The first few hours are the most crucial hours to establish breastfeeding between you and your baby. Babies are born with an instinct to breastfeed. The earlier you kickstart your breastfeeding journey, the easier it becomes for you and your baby, as you will be sending signals to your brain and body to produce breast milk. It may seem like your milk has yet to kick in, with just a few drops of colostrum, but fret not, the size of your newborn baby’s tummy is only as small as a marble. Even if your baby might require medical attention and would not be able to latch as soon as desired, hand express would aid to simulate breastfeeding signals.
Nurse on demand
Instead of setting a schedule around the baby, allow the baby to nurse on demand. Newborns get hungry often, and it is understandable due to their small stomach size and quick digestion. The frequent nursing might be exhausting at first, but it helps your body to build up its milk supply to match up with baby’s demands. As the baby is gaining weight, so as his or her demand for breast milk.
Gradually, the feeding interval will extend, your baby will start to sleep through the night and you will be able to have more sleep. Hang in there!
Help your baby get a good latch
Breastfeeding should not be painful. If it’s causing pain, there is a possibility of a poor latch, which could injure the nipple. Not all babies are natural latchers; assist your baby to latch the correct way with a wide-open mouth and strong suckling motion. As a new mom, you may not be used to the ‘sore’ feeling caused by frequent latching, thus it is important to invest in a good nipple cream (breast milk itself works as a natural nipple cream!) and ultra-soft KeaBabies Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads to soothe your nipples. Some moisturizing breast creams are also good for preventing or minimizing the appearance of stretch marks on the breast, aside from the soothing properties they have.
Blocked milk ducts are very painful and one way to avoid them is to take care of your breasts and nipples by wearing a good nursing bras and pads. While the breast and nipple are sore, you may want to use a nipple shield so the baby can start latching on your breast and stop using nipple shields once the pain or soreness of the nipple subsides.
If you feel like training the newborn baby's mouth to latch and producing enough milk are too challenging, paying a lactation consultant proves to be a wise decision. You can never go wrong with an expert one-on-one advice.
Make yourself comfortable
A cozy environment sets the tone for you and your baby. Allow yourself to be comfortable as you provide to your baby’s needs. Position yourself on a bed or a comfortable chair, support your own back and arms as you will be holding your baby to your breasts for a considerable stretch of duration. The more comfortable you are, the more pleasurable your breastfeeding experience will be. Hot showers before bedtime also help the body relax and would make you comfortable as you feed baby especially during night time nursing sessions.
When you are out and about, choose a breathable nursing cover so that your baby is comfortable under the cover as well. Our All-in-1 Nursing Cover makes your breastfeeding in public experience comfortable with its 360-degree coverage and ultra-soft material.
When you are breastfeeding, your body actually requires more calories than when you are pregnant. So don’t be shocked by your sudden increased appetite while nursing baby! Take a balanced diet consisting of protein, calcium, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Remember, a well-fed mommy means a well-fed baby. It’s even better if you continue with your prenatal vitamin to replenish your body for better breast milk supply.
Drink plenty of water
As your body is working hard to produce milk, it is important to keep yourself hydrated. Water replenishes the body and assists in milk production. A tip would be to drink a glass of water each time you breastfeed to ensure that you are staying hydrated.
Try to relax and stay stress-free
Don’t be too hard upon yourself. Breastfeeding is an enjoyable experience for both you and your baby. The more stressed up you are, the higher chances for your supply to dip. It is normal to worry whether your baby is having sufficient milk, but as long as your baby is having enough wet diapers, your supply is fine. It’s completely fine if you are feeling lost and clueless, practice and experience make perfect! Remember, your baby is learning together with you.
Don’t be afraid to seek help and support
If you are unsure of what you are doing, do seek help from a lactation consultant early. Even if you haven't attended a breastfeeding class during pregnancy, it is never too late to sign up to one. You may discover the real reason for a poor latch or low supply, such as lip tie, tongue tie, or improper latching position. Ensure that you have support from your family and friends around you so your get tips for breastfeeding success. Talk to experienced mothers, join a support group, such as our KeaBabies Love Group, where you may seek advice or find support from fellow mothers. Breastfeeding should not be a lonely journey, and remember you are not alone!
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Amber
Hi, I’m Amber and I’m a mother of a toddler boy and (soon) a newborn daughter. I was previously a stay at home mom and now a working mom. I love being a mother and every part of it, including the struggles and woes. Delighted to share more about my motherhood journey and parenting tips!