Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to feed your baby, but that doesn’t mean successful, comfortable breastfeeding comes naturally or easily to everyone. Like any new skill, it takes practice, and it can be frustrating while you’re learning. Here are a few tips for moms who are just getting started.
A Guide to Breastfeeding for New Moms
1. Try Different Positions
Much of comfortable, successful breastfeeding for you and your baby depends on finding a comfortable position. Whichever position you try, make sure to switch sides evenly and avoid bending over or leaning forward. You may prefer a side-lying hold for comfort during late-night feedings and something else during the day. Try them all to see what works for you.
2. Ask for Help
If you’re struggling, reach out to your doctor or a local lactation consultant for help. It can seem like breastfeeding success should come naturally, but it’s a challenge for many women, and a robust support system is a must. Don’t expect to be an expert overnight.
3. Be Mindful of Your Diet
Avoid or limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption while breastfeeding, avoiding alcohol altogether two hours before feeding or pumping. Some babies are sensitive to dairy, raw vegetables, or spicy foods. If you notice your baby has a rash, diarrhea, or excessive gas, start a food diary to figure out what’s causing the problem. Talk to your doctor about your medications to see which ones can affect your baby through breastmilk.
4. Take Care of Your Nipples
It’s likely you will experience a little nipple soreness, but serious pain can make breastfeeding difficult and stressful. When your baby doesn’t latch correctly right away, this can become painful, and it’s important to address it as soon as possible. Letting your nipples dry between feedings and applying lanolin can help relieve discomfort.
5. Invest in a Good Breast Pump
If you will be returning to work or would like to have breastmilk on hand at home, a high-quality breast pump can make this easier. Some insurance companies provide breast pumps for free or at a low cost. You can also rent a breast pump from a hospital to try it before you buy one.
The physicians at The Center for Women in Mountain Home, AR, offer comprehensive women’s health care and family planning in a welcoming environment. Whether you need an OB-GYN to care for you during pregnancy, you need an annual exam, or want more breastfeeding tips, they can help. They are now accepting new patients and can accommodate same-day and next-day emergency appointments. Call (870) 425-7300 to schedule an appointment. If you are an existing patient, leave a Google review to help others learn about this practice.