Breastfeeding is not easy. It can be challenging, messy, painful and uncomfortable. But it's also quite rewarding and worth the effort. If you're a first-time mom who has never breastfed before, or if you've tried breastfeeding before but didn't see results or it was too difficult for one reason or another, don't give up hope. There are lots of things you can do to make breastfeeding easier so that the process goes more smoothly for both you and your baby. Here are just a few tips for first-time moms who want to optimize their breastfeeding experience:
Hold your baby properly.
If you are having trouble holding your baby, try using a sling. The most common type of sling is a "Kangaroo" style, which allows for skin-to-skin contact between mother and child. This method also helps with the baby's latch, making breastfeeding easier.
Keep yourself healthy and rested.
The first step to making breastfeeding easier is to take care of yourself. This means getting enough sleep and eating healthy, balanced meals. It also means avoiding tobacco products and alcohol as much as possible.
Alcohol can cause dehydration and make it difficult for your milk to come in. If you do drink alcohol, stop breastfeeding at least two hours before drinking (and don’t start again until after your last drink) so that no alcohol is present in your breast milk when you feed your baby.
If you smoke cigarettes now or used to smoke while pregnant with your baby, talk with a doctor about ways to quit smoking. Stopping smoking will improve the health of both you and your newborn.
Drink plenty of fluids.
One of the most important things to do while you're breastfeeding is to drink plenty of fluids. You should drink at least eight glasses (64 ounces) of water or other healthy liquids each day. This will help ensure that your body has enough fluid to produce milk, and it also helps prevent dehydration, which can cause a low milk supply. A lack of hydration also makes it harder for your baby to digest milk and absorb nutrients from it, so make sure you're drinking enough.
If you neglect this basic rule, there's a good chance that both mommy and baby will experience discomfort: Mom may experience dry mouth or cracked lips; baby might have constipation or diarrhea due to insufficient hydration—and worse yet, both could suffer from dehydration if fluids aren't consumed regularly enough. Because babies rely on their mothers' bodies' natural systems in order to grow properly (and because they don't have access to bottled water), moms need extra care when considering how much liquid they're consuming throughout each day.
Don't worry about the diet.
The first thing you should know about breastfeeding is that it's not a diet. A natural way to feed your baby, breastfeeding is healthy for both mom and baby. The second thing you should know is that it's not something you can just decide to do overnight. You'll need time and dedication to make sure things go smoothly in those first few weeks. The third thing is don't worry about the diet.
There are plenty of reasons why this isn't an issue worth stressing over right away, but if we had to pick just one, it would be because there's no evidence that shows any food choices during pregnancy or breastfeeding have any long-term impact on a child’s health outcomes later in life.
You might think this means nutrition doesn't matter at all when caring for a new mom with a newborn baby at home full-time, but we'd beg to differ. While it may seem like more than enough work just taking care of yourself during pregnancy without having some other person needing constant attention too (especially when they're so tiny).
Remember that eating well will help keep energy levels up so neither one of them gets tired out too quickly; plus there are lots of foods out there that are easy to digest which means less stress for both parties involved (and maybe even more cuddles.).
Consider Nursing Pads to absorb leaks.
Nursing pads are a great way to prevent embarrassing leaks. They come in different sizes and shapes, so you can choose what works best for you. Breast pads are available at most drugstores and are usually reusable.
Use a breastfeeding pillow to support your arms and keep you comfortable.
When you are breastfeeding, it is important to have a comfortable position. A breastfeeding pillow can help you achieve this by supporting your arms and keeping you relaxed. The pillow should be firm but soft, with enough give to conform to the shape of your body and the baby. It should support your arms and not put any pressure on your back. It should also be easy to hold onto so that both of you are comfortable; if it doesn't fit into your hand, then it probably won't work for feeding time.
Choose clothes that make it easy to nurse in public, like cardigans and wrap dresses.
You may want to consider wearing maternity wear such as dresses and tops with wrap-style necklines that allow easy access. You can also wear nursing bras and tops, which are designed specifically for discreet breastfeeding.
Cardigans are another great option since they provide coverage while breastfeeding and make it simple to pull down the front to reveal your breast when needed. Button-down blouses or shirts with buttons down the front are also good options because they provide coverage while allowing easy access when needed.
Avoid giving your baby formula if breastfeeding is going well.
One of the main reasons to breastfeed is that it's personal and affirming. The bond between mother and baby grows as the milk provides nourishment and comfort. However, if breastfeeding isn't going well, it can be difficult to continue when you're stressed out or feel like you've failed your baby.
If you want your child to be able to nurse in public, or if you want them to have access to their own food source—one that won't cause them digestive issues later on in life. It's important not only for their health but also for their mental well-being that they receive breastmilk right from the source until they're ready for solid foods (which usually doesn't happen until after 6 months).
If they become accustomed to receiving formula instead of breastmilk at a young age, then this may be very hard for them later on when they go back into care situations such as daycare centres where visits from family members aren't always possible due both space limitations as well as health concerns about sharing germs between many children at once.
Breast pumps can be helpful but they're not necessary.
Breast pumps can be helpful, but they're not necessary. If you are going back to work or want to give your baby a bottle of breastmilk, then a breast pump can be helpful.
If you have a medical condition that prevents you from breastfeeding, like an overactive thyroid or high blood pressure during pregnancy, then using a breast pump might help ensure that your baby receives enough nutrients and calories through breastfeeding.
However, if both parents are able to spend as much time with the baby as possible while feeding him/her naturally (rather than pumping), then this is preferable because it helps establish the same rhythm that most mothers have with their infants--a personal bond between them which helps ease any stressors they may encounter later on in life when they need comfort from anxiety-inducing events like exams at school or job interviews.
Don't force it if breastfeeding isn't working for you or your baby.
If you're not comfortable with breastfeeding, don't force it. Your baby will probably have an easier time if both of you are in a good place.
If your baby isn't comfortable with breastfeeding and is crying or screaming, don't force it. It may take some time for both of you to get used to each other (and the situation) before they are happy about nursing.
And finally, if neither one of you seems happy about nursing and/or your little one isn't gaining weight as quickly as he should be, stop until things chang. This could require working with a lactation consultant or even switching from breast milk to formula completely.
Now that you've learned a few things about breastfeeding, it's time to get started. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to ask your doctor. They'll be able to help guide you through this journey and answer any questions you might have about what's best for your baby.