Hola ladies! Today I’m going to talk about one of the most challenging things that we face as moms! From preparing the baby’s nursery, to the hospital bag and even taking baby delivery classes, most of us get ready for so many things while we are pregnant; however, the one thing that is commonly put in the back burner is breastfeeding. To me personally, breastfeeding plays a major psychological effect during postpartum and for that reason, I want to help other women with the tips that worked for me for successful breastfeeding.
Tip 1: Kick everyone out of the room
While it is nice to have your family and friends visiting, when it’s time to breastfeed, you are in your entire right to ask everyone (nicely) to leave the room and give you and your baby some privacy. If you let people around, questions like: “Is the baby feeding okay?” or “Is your milk coming out yet?”, “Is the baby latching?”,”Why is the baby crying, do you have enough milk?” are always going to be asked no matter what and that does NOT help!
People don’t get it, I remember my mother in law and even my mom asking most of those questions and completely annoyed me; it creates a psychological pressure and it is almost impossible not to ask yourself “Am I doing this right?” or think that maybe this is not for you. So I asked my husband to deal with his mom and dealt with mine and finally got my own romantic moment with my little one.
Breastfeeding is an intimate moment that only you and your baby should be part of, especially at the beginning because it is the time for you two to create that bond. I know this comparison may sound out of place, but you’ll get my point: Think about sex, you’re not going to have guests to watch because it is something private between you and your partner – the same intimacy should happen during breastfeeding between the mom and the baby.
Tip 2: Breastfeeding is painful and you got this!
Many books and even lactation consultants say that breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful if done properly. I personally think that’s b**it. The only way that you’re going to get through it is by preparing yourself for a painful experience at the beginning. Newborns do not know how to latch on and their little tiny mouths trying to latch a big boob is a real challenge, so the easiest way for them is to get the nipple until they learn the proper way, meaning that during the process this is going to hurt and a lot! I would say that breastfeeding with cracked and sore nipples can be as painful as natural labor – I delivered both of my babies naturally and the pain is something that I can’t describe, but worth every second of pain – Same with breastfeeding. There is a reason why women are the ones having the baby, we are strong enough to get through all of it! The first two weeks are going to be painful, but after that everything is going to be just fine and the pain will be gone so don’t give up! Resist the pain and continue to apply the latching techniques taught by your lactation consultant until your baby masters it! It is about two weeks until this happens, trust me girl, you got this!
Tip 3: Feed on demand
Newborns are going to be hungry every 1, 2 or 3 hours and you have to be ready to breastfeed them every single time they want. Be conscious that they don’t have and will not have a set schedule during the first weeks of age and that is completely normal, the reason is mother nature works wonders to their benefit. This means that the more you feed them, the more your body is going to receive the order to produce milk and will do so.
Tip 4: Have baby with little to no clothes
One of the challenges that we face during breastfeeding at times is that babies can fall sleep easily on the breast. Breastfeeding is also comfort for babies besides being their main source of nutrition, so that’s why they end up falling asleep. But if you undress them they will not feel as warm and will focus on feeding and sucking only rather than sleeping.
Tip 5: Lanolin or Coconut oil for cracked nipples
I tried both and they are both great although lanolin worked better for me. This is something that you’re going to use constantly for the first two weeks of pain and it will become your best friend ever! You don’t need to wash your ladies prior to feedings because both things are perfectly safe for babies.
Tip 6: Do not apply soap on your ladies when you shower
Regular soap can dry out skin and this will not be helpful when your nipples are sore. Just let the water run and that’s pretty much it. Apply coconut oil after the shower if you would like to hydrate your skin.
Tip 7: Drink PLENTY of Water
Water is key for a successful milk supply and you need to drink plenty! Think about the amount of milk you need to produce and for that you need to be hydrated. Although KellyMom says that recent studies say that the water intake is not related to the milk supply, I have noticed from my personal experience that it does affect. I actually saw a decrease in my milk supply for a few days because I got super busy at work being in-and-out of meetings and completely stopped drinking my water. So, I freaked out and started to be more disciplined in my water intake and got back on track.
Tip 8: Pump at least once a day
This actually is a trick that I learned without planning it. I was so into getting breastfeeding to work, so I pumped once a day every day for the first two weeks and OMG it worked wonders for me! I actually ended up with an oversupply of milk, which I then had to do some other things to take it under control, but hey, when it comes to breastfeeding more is better than less. I mean, if you end up with an oversupply like me, it is easier to reduce it than increase it.
Tip 9: Take your old t-shirts out of your drawers
I have never worn multiple tops a day than during breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be messy – baby spitting or your milk coming out like a sprinkler or the nursing pads just not in place. You are going to need plenty of t-shirts to wear! So take all your old t-shirts out and wear them all! No need to spend money on buying brand new tops that are going to end up dirty the same day anyway – unless you don’t have any tops at all.
Tip 10: Bond with your baby
Last but certainly not least, bond with your little one! Talk to your baby while you are feeding her/him. Spend this time to tell how much you love her/him and talk to her about you, about your pregnancy, about your day, or about anything you wish! If you want to sing to her/him sing! I promise that if you don’t have a pretty voice they are not going to complain or judge haha! They are going to love you no matter what!
These are the 10 tips that I am sure will be of help for new moms! Let me know in the comments if you know which is the tip that has been the most helpful to you! Bye bye from Alessandra and me <3