“Breastfeeding is the best feeling. You are everything your baby needs”
“God created this body for you to provide for your baby. You can do this.”
“Holding your beautiful baby in your arms with his warm head against you and his little fingers wiggling to touch you, is priceless.”
“The eye to eye contact that’s received during breastfeeding is such a vital bonding moment for you and your baby.”
I have breastfed four children and all past 12 months old. I also tandem fed my two youngest babies. Breastfeeding gets easier and easier. every baby is different too. My firstborn was learned to latch real quick while my second was more difficult. My third and fourth were easy. You can be a successful breastfeeding mother. You’ll need to eat well. Now is not the time to worry about losing weight. Most importantly you’ll need to stay hydrated. You need to drink fluid to make fluid. Then there are certain foods and supplements that can help aid you in your milk production. You’ll need to try different positions for breastfeeding. There might be a position that your baby doesn’t like or your baby may like one position and then start fussing until you change the position. You’ll also need to make sure the latch is correct or you may end up with infected nipples. You will figure this out. You can do it.
Do not try to diet or lose weight while breastfeeding. Try not to skip meals. Hopefully someone can help you in the beginning with cooking so you can eat well. Your body needs the calories right now. The most important thing is to provide the baby with enough milk and milk that is full of fat and nutrients. Eat healthy: lots of fruits and vegetables and carbs. If you’re worried about losing the baby weight then just follow a healthy diet and stay away from processed foods, added sugars and salts. Try not to over indulge and give in to your cravings. You will have cravings just like your pregnancy. You will feel extra hungry and may be tempted by the cookie jar.
Have a bottle of water with you at all times. You are going to be thirsty. Replenish your body with water after you breastfeed the baby. You can buy a water bottle that helps you keep track of your water intake. It’s hard to keep track of anything when you just had a baby. You don’t want to forget to drink water. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to supply enough milk.
Ask your pediatrician before starting any supplements. I used fenugreek capsules, mama earth milkmaid tea and the novocare and upspring breastfeeding support capsules.
Oats help with milk production. You can eat oatmeal, granola, and oatmeal cookies. So many delicious ways to eat oats. There are recipes for cookies that help with milk production. If your drinking milk with your cookies, don’t grab the wrong milk. No, I’m just kidding. Try eating oats everyday to help keep your milk flowing.
Get as much rest as you can. Try not to stress. Stress can affect your milk supply. Ask for help. Try not to over do it. If you need to let some things go, like the dinner dishes, then this is okay. You don’t have to have it all together all the time. Just do your best and take care of yourself. Hopefully you have a support system of people you can talk to while going through this transition of a new baby. It’s so stressful to be pregnant and uncomfortable, to giving birth, to taking care of a newborn. No wonder postpartum depression is so common. It’s because we go through so much. You have to take care of yourself through this time. Find out what you need to de-stress .
Skin to skin
I mostly had the baby undressed, diaper only, against my bare chest. I kept the hospital bed reclined with pillows at each side. I used my breastfeeding nightgown. It was just a great find for me. Even the nurses in the hospital were asking where I found this night gown. My baby fit so perfectly under my nightgown.
Kangaroo care may help with milk production, bonding and help the baby sleep better. You can find more information on the March of Dimes website.
I wouldn’t wait for the baby to start crying before I breastfed. I would offer the breast often. This way, he would nurse more often and he wouldn’t get to the point of being too hungry and having that uncontrollable cry. He gained weight fast and my milk production was good because your body will produce the amount of milk that baby drinks. So if your baby isn’t eating enough then your milk will decrease. You can also pump milk to increase your milk until the baby starts eating sufficiently. I used the madela electric breast pump and that worked well for me. The Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags worked the best for me because some will rip easily. So, nurse often and pump if needed to keep your breastmilk in good supply or increase production.
Mandela breast pump purchase here
Get a correct latch
Using the cross-cradle position, place your hand under the head and neck of the baby. Use the hand that is on the side you are holding the baby to support the baby’s head. With the opposite hand you hold your breast with the “C hold” or “U hold.” Your hand is in the shape of a C when holding your breast or a U with your fingers facing up. Place your breast in the baby’s mouth when it opens. The baby should not just have the nipple in his mouth. That is what they call a shallow latch. This will be very painful. If you continue to let the baby suck like this you will probably get broken skin and a possible infection. Make sure some of the areola is in the baby’s mouth too. You can see the cheeks of the baby go in when he sucks. It’s a long suck and you will hear the baby swallowing. There is some great videos on the Global Health Media website.
If it’s painful while nursing, stop and relatch.
You can buy a lanolin nipple cream to help with chapped nipples. The Madela brand worked well for me. Your nipples get chapped like chapped lips. Apply the cream in between feedings. Wipe the cream off before nursing. This may be difficult to do if your baby is cereal nursing and you don’t get any breaks between. Keep your breasts dry. You will overproduce milk in the beginning as your body figures out how much milk your baby needs. Milk will get everywhere. The baby will get wet, your shirt, and the blankets. So I suggest not to wear a shirt as often as possible so your breasts can stay dry. This will help the nipples heal.
Try different positions
The basic cradle position
The baby’s head will be lying on your forearm. Use the opposite hand to help lead the breast into the baby’s mouth. This is usually not the best position for newborns because they need more support in getting to the breast.
Cross cradle position
Hold the baby’s head and neck in your hand. Use the opposite hand to lead the breast in the baby’s mouth.
The baby is lying against the side of your body instead of infront. So the baby’s feet are by your back. Support the baby’s head and neck with the hand that is on the same side of the baby. Use the opposite hand to lead the breast to the baby’s mouth.
Side lying position
Lay on your side. Have the baby lying close to your body. Now you don’t need to do so much work to support the baby. Just lead the breast to the mouth of the baby and relax.
Lean back with the baby on your chest and lead the breast to the baby’s mouth. This position is helpful after a c-section.I would keep my baby against my chest in the hospital . I had c sections so it was painful to move in the beginning. I bought a breastfeeding nightgown. The baby would stay on my chest almost all the time. He could eat right there sometimes when he was hungry.
When my babies were newborns I would utilize all the different positions. Sometimes the baby gets unhappy with a certain position so you change positions and he’s happy again.
There may be times when you try to nurse the baby but the baby gets fussy and won’t latch and then starts screaming. It’s okay. This happens sometimes. Maybe the baby was too hungry or maybe the baby’s personality is stubborn. Some babies are easier or more difficult than others and it’s nothing you’re doing, it’s just the baby’s personality. Try and give the baby to someone else if you need a break. Sometimes when someone else starts rocking the baby, the baby will calm down. The baby can feel when you are distressed. Most importantly understand you are doing a good job. This happens to every mom.
You’re going to be sitting and nursing all day. It will get boring but you won’t be able to do anything else but sit there with the baby. Maybe you can catch up on some good Netflix shows. I couldn’t read or write or be on my phone while I was nursing, it would distract him and he would get irritated. He wanted my full attention on him or he would literally get mad. I would feel bad just sitting around all day and not getting anything done. Most mothers can say they went through the same emotions. But you have to prioritize breastfeeding over everything else. So, be complacent on your couch and catch up on your favorite shows.
Ask lots of questions with the lactation nurse in the hospital.
Join a breastfeeding support group
Ask your obstetrician or pediatrician for resources.
I am thankful I was able to breastfeed my children. If it doesn’t work out for you, don’t worry. Your baby will be perfectly healthy on formula. After you give birth and you start to breastfeed remember to eat well and stay hydrated. Practice self care so you don’t over stress because it will effect your milk supply. Remember the different positions to nurse and how to get the correct latch. You can do this, mama. I believe in you.
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