Making Breastfeeding Easier

Breastfeeding will be hard… really hard. Especially if you are a new mother and don’t know what exactly to expect. If you find difficulties in breastfeeding, you are not alone. Many mothers experience at least some level of difficulty and frustration during those first few weeks of breastfeeding.

However, breastfeeding brings your baby an exponential amount of nutritious and developmental benefits and is a great way to get your baby’s health off on the right track.

Just keep in mind that it will get better and it will be worth it in the long run. Don’t give up.

With practice comes perfection.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of our top 5 tips for making breastfeeding easier!

1. Be Prepared

As with everything you do throughout your pregnancy and your child’s early years, it’s important to be prepared. When you give birth, you will be exhausted and get frustrated quickly if things go wrong during your first attempts at breastfeeding.

When you do your research and know what to expect, you will be calmer and have a better understanding of what to do and how to find success in latching.

There are tons of classes available for new moms and your friends, who are already mothers, are great resources. Don’t be afraid to reach out and discuss this subject. Every mother goes through it and chances are they have some great tips or at least some words of comfort.

The best thing to remember is that you will eventually be successful at breastfeeding your child.

While there will be some problems with latching at first, know that you are not alone. In fact, many women in the U.S. need help and guidance with latching1.
If you are in this group, never fear… there are people that work as professional latching consultants that will help guide you to success.

The biggest tip we want to give you is don’t stress. It will come naturally for both of you in no time. Professional lactation educator Caroline Kerhervé says that it takes about two weeks for new moms and babies to get comfortable1.

2. The Sooner the Better

When you hold your baby immediately after birth, there is an intense bond that forms. Because of this bond, it is recommended that you try breastfeeding as close to birth as possible.

When babies are first born, all of their senses are heightened in that first hour, which is also known as the “golden hour.” Due to this heightened sensation, their instincts for latching will be much stronger and you will see higher rates of success2.

When you start this early, you might not even need any outside help.

Another tip for an early start is to have as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. This type of contact, especially during the first hour after your baby’s delivery, brings tons of benefits. Some of which include the promotion of breastfeeding for the first time, leading to an increase in latching initiation and breastfeeding times for future feedings3.

Skin-to-skin contact will also help calm your baby down, which aids in a successful first breastfeeding. Think about it… imagine how hard it would be to get a crying baby to latch!

3. Pay Attention

Obviously you will be paying tons of attention to your baby after birth, but try and find specific patterns in your baby’s movements. The activity you observe after your baby is born is actually reflexive and extremely instinctual.

It is usually them trying to tell you something.

For instance, if you place your finger in their mouths, they start sucking. It’s natural and one of the most helpful reflexes when it comes to breastfeeding.

Some other things you should start doing involve pairing your baby’s behaviors with responses. This will help them begin to develop connections and gain an idea of how to tell you they’re hungry instead of crying. For instance, when you see your baby putting their hands in their mouth, making mouthing motions, or turning their head from side to side, they are telling you that they are hungry2.

When you see these signs, it’s important to respond to them so that you encourage learning in your baby.

This means a stronger unspoken communication for mom and baby, which will lead to less crying in the future. Believe us, less crying is always better for everyone!

4. Use a Breast Pump

Breast pumps are a new mother’s best friend. Especially when you plan on going back to work at some time or just need a little break.

Try pumping in the morning, after your baby’s first feeding, since you usually have a higher milk supply at this time. It will take a little getting used to, but you’ll be a pro in no time.

Another benefit of breast pumping is that it will actually help you move past engorgement.

Engorgement is when your breasts start to feel much bigger and much tighter than they previously did because they are overfilling with milk production. This usually happens a few days to a week after birth. Prior to engorgement, your baby mainly feeds on colostrum, which is extremely nutritious!

During this time, your breasts are a bit harder and more tender, which will make breastfeeding a challenge. If you pump for just a little bit prior to feeding, you will help to soften the breast and thus, ease the process.

In addition, breast pumps will help you stockpile breast milk for anytime that you are away when your child gets hungry!

5. Rest

A lot of new mothers get caught up with the constant feedings and forget how important rest is. However, rest is crucial, especially for the development of your breast milk and the healthy bond that you form with your newborn.

It is near impossible to get through a tough situation when you are exhausted and delirious. In order to keep yourself together, take some time to rest!

After you develop a strong nursing relationship with your child, let your partner do some of the work2. Utilize your breast pump and pass the bottle! Just remember, in order to keep your body’s milk supply flowing, you should continue to pump and breastfeed regularly.

Conclusion

Every mom wants to give their child the best, which is why we always recommend breastfeeding. There are countless benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your child and, even though it will be difficult at first, it is always worth it in the end. If you have any serious questions or concerns, contact a latching consultant or your primary doctor to ease your worries. Also, don’t forget that with the Affordable Care Act, new mothers are eligible to receive an electric breast pump covered by their insurance provider! Head on over to Byram Healthcare and browse our selection to find a breast pump that works for you.

Remember, breastfeeding will be challenging for new moms. If you have any tips or words of encouragements for our mother’s to be make sure you comment on our Facebook page! We’re sure they will appreciate the love and support as much as we do.

SOURCES:

1http://womenshealthblog.org/tips-for-making-breast-feeding-easier-shots/
2https://www.thebump.com/a/make-breastfeeding-easy
3http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/806325

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