- Maintain a healthy diet: Eat a well-balanced diet that includes tons of fruits and vegetables. Try to get as many nutrients as you can into each meal of yours. Pace your meals and have smaller meals throughout the day; this will keep your energy levels up. Consult your doctor and take multivitamins if recommended.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, just as you would when you were pregnant. Limit your caffeine intake. If you do consume alcohol, try not to breastfeed for a few hours after that.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking during breastfeeding is a Big No-No. It can expose your baby to nicotine, disrupt the baby’s sleep, and lead to second-hand smoking, which could cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other respiratory illnesses.
- Rest: Don’t overstress yourself, get enough sleep, and rest every day to keep your body healthy for the baby.
- Check your medication: If you’re on any medication, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before you go ahead with breastfeeding. Most medication doesn’t usually have any effects on this, but it’s better to be safe!
- Vitamin D: It is a really important nutrient for your baby as it helps the baby absorb other nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus. Breastmilk does not contain enough vitamin D, so consider taking supplements for this.
10 Breast Feeding Tips to Make Nursing A Breeze
1. Stay Healthy
Just because you’re not pregnant anymore doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to your diet. Staying healthy during your breastfeeding times is just as important for you and the baby.
Here are a few points to keep in mind:
2. Start breastfeeding right after birth
When we say right after birth, we mean within the first few hours, it’s a super important step as it sets you and the baby up on the right track. Susan D. Crowe, a clinical associate professor at Stanford School of Medicine, said that “The early initiation for breastfeeding is extremely important when it comes to sending signals to the brain and body to produce breast milk.”
It also triggers the baby’s reflexes to breastfeeding, and the baby will know where to look for when he/she gets hungry in the future. Maintaining a physical touch with the baby after your first successful feeding is essential; it will build a prolonging connection and help reduce stress.
3. Find the baby’s ideal position
A newborn baby is extra sensitive, and comfort is key for him/her, especially during breastfeeding. You’ll have to pay close attention to understand the baby’s reactions to different positions and eventually find the best suitable one.
Each baby will have a different idea position, but here are a few tips that can help you find it quicker!
- Hold the baby at an upward angle, so the mouth is at level with the nipple.
- Hold them as close as possible; they shouldn’t have to move much.
- Baby’s chin should be touching your breasts so you can make sure the nose is not blocked.
- Keep the head slightly tilted backward.
These points are just tips and not strict guidelines. So make sure you’re not forcing your baby into following a certain position. Let it happen naturally, so the baby has the flexibility to choose.
4. Breastfeed frequently
Supply and Demand: When it comes to breastfeeding, your body likes to follow this concept. The more you feed your baby, the more milk your body will produce. You will easily be able to recognize the baby’s signs of hunger and demand for more milk; the two most common signs are crying, restlessness, thumb-sucking, and clenching the fist.
Towards the end of your pregnancy and during your breastfeeding period, your body releases hormones such as oxytocin and prolactin, also known as the “feel good” hormones. It enhances connection by inducing a feeling of trust and safety.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Mothers who have breastfed before, thus having a first-hand experience, might be able to help with your minor issues. They probably know and could share some tips and tricks that worked for them. If you’re not comfortable talking to friends or family about this, you can always visit a lactation consultant. Apart from this, there are also lactation groups where new mothers can interact with each other and share their hacks and even a few feel-good words that might relieve breastfeeding stress.
6. Take care of your nipples
Breastfeeding days are not just stressful but also painful. It’s important to maintain your nipples and take good care of your nipples. It’s not only a necessary step for you, but also for your baby.
Here are a few tips for maintaining healthy nipples:
- Keep them moisturized: During breastfeeding days, nipples tend to get dry and cracky frequently. It’s important that you avoid them or at least treat them as soon as possible. After each nursing session, just softly rub a few drops of the breastmilk on and around your nipples; but before you do this, make sure your hands are clean.
- Don’t use harsh soaps, use gentle cleansers, and don’t over wash.
- Avoid clothing that causes irritation.
- Use soothing pads that cool your nipples and provide relief from sore nipples.
- Find products to soothe your breasts. Such as moisturizing balms or serums that are specifically made for this purpose.
7. Find a comfortable nursing position
You’re going to be into this for a while, so it’s important to find a comfortable position for yourself and get prepped for long and frequent nursing sessions. Uncomfortable nursing positions can later lead to back pains and shoulder pains.
If you’re at home, the most suitable position would be to lie on your side and place the baby, so he/she is comfortable and facing you.
If you’re outdoors, the most suitable position would be a reclined position and then holding the baby in your arms.
You can make your nursing environment more relaxing and comfortable by adding more pillows and throws to keep you and the baby warm. Try doing it on the couch or the bed. Try different positions and places to find the one that suits you and your baby the most.
8. Stay relaxed
It’s important that you get enough rest and don’t stress yourself too much. The baby can sense the tension and won’t feed properly or feel relaxed.
- Try not to feed in stressful environments
- Clear your mind before the nursing session
- Play some soothing music
- Take your time, take a few deep breaths
- Finally, enjoy your bonding time with your little one
9. Nipple Shield
It’s silicon nipple that can be worn over your nipple during nursing sessions.
They usually recommended for the first few days of feeding, as this could be helpful if your baby is having problems latching on to the nipple. Make sure you’re using this with guidance from a lactation consultant. They’ll teach you how to place it and use it properly. Remember that this is just a short term solution.
10. Let your baby take control
It’s important that you allow your baby to set the pace, especially during the first few weeks. Let them take their time and feed on the breastmilk thoroughly until they’re full. It’ll usually last about 15-20 minutes. Your baby will latch onto your breasts if he/she is still hungry, allow them to continue feeding then.
During the initial weeks, understand your baby’s pace, signs of hunger, and comfortable positions to lead a peaceful and successful nursing time.