Breastfeeding is a wonderful, natural way to bond with your baby. Studies have long suggested a host of health benefits, too, for the mother and the child. Many mothers choose to breastfeed whenever possible. However, breastfeeding does have its challenges. We’ve compiled a list of tips and advice from experienced mothers to help make it easier to breastfeed your child.
One big mistake new mothers make is not doing research before their baby is born. Just observing another woman breastfeeding can help eliminate any apprehensions you may have when it comes to nursing. Speak with your doctor, nursing friends, or breastfeeding support groups ahead of time. They can answer questions and help prepare you mentally.
Once your bundle of joy is in your arms, the real experience begins. Try to nurse within the first hour. This provides the important colostrum your baby needs and can help your milk production increase. If you have trouble nursing, don’t wait to get help – reach out as soon as possible. Waiting to ask for help with nursing can cause unnecessary discomfort.
Involve your partner in breastfeeding. Having another person available to remember tips and information provided by your lactation consultant comes in handy when your brain is overwhelmed or sleep deprived. He or she can be your personal nursing coach and support system.
Breastfeeding takes practice to get right. You can encourage a good latch by laying belly to belly and nose to nipple. Your baby shouldn’t have to turn his or her head to latch, so laying their stomach on yours is helpful. You should also keep your nipple toward your infant’s nose to encourage the baby to lift his or her head and latch deeply.
When bringing your baby closer, press against the nape of your child’s neck or shoulders. Pushing on the back of the head can activate an instinct to resist and bite down. You should also pay attention to your baby’s feet. Babies feel more comforted and secure when they can rest their feet on your leg or a pillow.
It can seem a bit intimidating at first, but information and dedication can make all the difference in the world when it comes to breastfeeding.