7 Breastfeeding Tips & Top Essentials
Breastfeeding is an amazing feat for any mom. For me, the first 24-48 hours of breastfeeding was difficult (engorged breasts; cracked and sore nipples; and a hungry baby that would not latch). I got through it though with the help of a lactation consultant and was able to breastfeed successfully for the first few months in addition to supplementing with formula as needed.
Personally, I respect any choice a mother makes about feeding her baby – whether it’s to breastfeed or formula feed. Yes, of course “breast is best,” but we never know a mother’s circumstances so who am I to pass judgement? If you love, care for, and feed your baby (no matter the means), then you are a good mom in my book.
If you cannot breastfeed for some reason, don’t feel guilty about it, your baby will still get the nutrition he or she needs to thrive! If you are able to breastfeed, however, try really hard to feed your baby through breastmilk. Even if you want to give up (like I felt many times), give it some more time. You can do it! Once you and your baby get the hang of it, it’s a great accomplishment and amazing bonding experience.
BIBB Magazine recently interviewed some experts/moms and shared some amazing tips to help moms prepare for breastfeeding and be successful at it:
Tip 1: Keep your supply up
Pump after every nursing session, even if you're only getting a couple ounces per breast.
Tip 2: Consult a lactation specialist
Breastfeeding for the first time can be scary. There are a lot of questions such as, is my baby eating enough? How long can my milk stay out? Or, why won't my baby latch? Try to consult with a lactation specialist to get the answers to all of your questions. I also find that talking to other nursing mamas helped.
Tip 3: Surround yourself with support
Whether it be your partner, your family, or your coworkers, surround yourself with supporters on your breastfeeding journey. Everyone from my partner, to my mother, to my boss has supported me on this journey, and it has made all of it easier.
Tip 4: Use nursing sessions to unwind and connect
When you are nursing, try to turn the television off, put your phone down, go into an empty/quiet room, and connect with your child. Breastfeeding won't last forever, and it is one of the best bonding moments I have with my child.
(Source: Brittany Bright, mom and owner of Be Bright Daily)
Tip 5: Utilize a service like Bump Benefits to get a free breast pump covered by your insurance.
The service is 100% free and all you have to do is fill out a preapproval form to see if your insurance covers the cost and then pick out your breast pump!
(Source: Bump Benefits)
Tip 6: Don’t compare yourself to other moms and do not compare your baby to other babies - you are both unique.
Breastfeeding is a learned skill and takes some time to get the hang of - be patient with yourself and your baby. Ask for help - help with breastfeeding and help around your home. Find your tribe – your community of supportive people who support you in being the parent you want to be.
(Source: Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC)
Tip 7: Make nutrition and overall well-being a top priority when breastfeeding.
Drinking lots of water, maintaining a healthy diet, staying well rested as best you can, and maintaining low stress levels are all important while nursing. Also, if you cannot nurse it is important to make the time to pump in between to avoid engorgement and/or a decreased milk supply.
(Source: Alison Mitzner, MD)
Visit BIBB Magazine for the Top 10 Breastfeeding Essentials and more great tips!
Along with being a mom, author, and top baby & kids brand publicist, Tasha Mayberry is the owner and Editor-in-Chief of BIBB Magazine (Best in Baby Biz & Kids), a top parenting magazine offering expert tips, recipes, fashion, DIY, interviews of mom and dad inventors, a catalog of top baby & kids gifts with deals, and a big giveaway in each issue. Read the current issue here.