Breastfeeding is one of the first nurturing acts of a mother. As natural as this act is, it is common for new mothers to be nervous about this process. Some might worry about how fast the milk flows, providing enough nutrients for your baby, and the list goes on
You most likely have tons of questions about how breastfeeding works (yes it is a valid question) and how to do it correctly. The best advice is to Relax, both you and your baby will get the hang of it eventually, but to help you along in this process, we’ve put together a list of breastfeeding tips for new mothers.
Let your baby determine how often and how long to nurse
At this stage, your baby knows his or her needs more than you do. You’re adjusting to their needs, so let them determine often and how long to nurse. Subconsciously, many women set a pre-determined interval between their baby’s last meal and when the following meal should be, denying their baby of food. On the other hand, there’s no need to wake a sleeping baby to feed them simply because three hours have passed. Let your sleeping baby lay peacefully and feed them when they wake.
Don’t worry if feeding time only lasts ten minutes, and don’t panic if it stretches on for forty-five minutes. Some babies are fast eaters, while some like to take their time.
Get Comfortable While Nursing
You’re going to be spending a significant amount of time holding your baby to your breast while they feed, so it’s important that you feel as comfortable as possible. Breastfeeding in an unsupported sitting position can lead to significant back, shoulder, and neck pain. Also, your constant adjusting and moving can interrupt your baby’s feeding flow and result in irritability and increased hunger.
These are the two recommend positions for comfortable breastfeeding:
- Lie on your side with your baby facing you.
- Sit in a reclined position with your baby lying in your arms.
A bed or a large couch with plenty of pillows to support your back and arms make these positions ideal for breastfeeding. The more attentive you are to your own comfort, the more nursing sessions will be a pleasant break for both you and your baby.
Take Care of Your Skin
The skin of your breast is very delicate and should be cared for properly, especially while breastfeeding. Regular nursing can cause the skin of your breasts to become very dry, overly-sensitive, and it might even crack over time. You can avoid this case, by following the precautions below
- Don’t overwash. One or two showers a day with a gentle cleanser is plenty.
- After a feeding, pat your breasts dry with a soft cloth.
- Let your breasts air out periodically to avoid irritation from clothing.
- After a feeding, apply a healing product like like a moisturizing balm or a serum
- If necessary, use a comfort balm in-between feedings to ease discomfort and moisturize sensitized nipples.
These are a few tips, but they will go a long way to make your breastfeeding process more enjoyable.