Contemplating Breastfeeding? Here are six ways to make it easier if you choose to breastfeed.
Whether you already know you want to breastfeed or you have everyone telling you how important it is - the idea can seem overwhelming. You know breastfeeding will provide your baby with numerous health benefits; however, you can’t help but shake the thoughts of how hard it may be. Thankfully, there are some ways you can make your breastfeeding journey a bit easier if that is the path you decide to take - because let’s face it - Mom life is demanding as it is.
Research Before Baby Arrives
You are no doubt going to be exhausted and likely in pain after giving birth, so make sure you do your research beforehand. Start reading up on nursing and talking to moms who have breastfed. Research nursing consultants in your area. There’s a good chance there is a La Leche League chapter and breastfeeding group nearby. Be sure to surround yourself with as many useful resources as possible so you don’t have any doubt. Create a support system so you have someone to go to in case you do need advice once your baby gets here.
Skin to Skin
Many people have a birth plan and one of the things you shouldn’t leave out is requesting the doctor to place your baby on you directly after birth. During the first hour after birth, baby’s senses such as sight, smell, and sound are heightened. Babies are neurologically wired to find mom’s breast - don’t miss out on this precious time. Even when your baby finds it difficult to latch on, skin to skin contact can help trigger his or her feeding instincts. It’s an essential bonding experience overall.
Take Advantage of the Help
Always accept help if you need it. While you’re in the hospital after giving birth, the nurses will likely ask if you want to speak with a lactation expert. Never feel ashamed for saying yes. A lactation expert can answer any questions you have. Not to mention, you will go home reassured and more confident in your breastfeeding abilities.
As you’re researching all about breastfeeding, you will learn the different types of breastfeeding positions. Each baby is different when it comes to which position may be best. Unfortunately, if baby chooses a position that is not so comfortable for you, you’re going to have to improvise. For example, the most common complaint about breastfeeding or feeding a baby, in general, is a sore arm. Sure, you love watching your little one look up at you with those big eyes, but their head resting on your arm gets heavy after a while. A huge tip is propping your arm up on a nursing pillow. Not only are you benefiting yourself with this technique, but by propping baby up, you can reduce their chance of getting gas or reflux.
Be Sure to Rest
You may think that choosing to breastfeed means you have to cut all ties with sleeping. Good news - that’s not true. You can use a breast pump so your partner can help with nightly feedings. Just try to pump a bottle of milk before heading to bed as it’s important to have a pumping session when your baby eats to maintain your body’s milk supply. It’s critical for a new mom to get sleep whenever possible so make sure to accept other people’s help. You need all the sleep you can get to take care of your new bundle of joy, especially if you’re breastfeeding around the clock.
Use Time-Saving Accessories
You can make your entire breast pumping process easier and save more time. One way is to use a pump and save breastmilk in a bag that attaches directly to your breast pump, that way you don’t have to worry about pouring it into a bottle or other bag. You can easily seal the bag once you’re finished pumping.
Another idea is to use a hands-free pump so you can multi-task. There’s nothing better than being able to do multiple things at once, especially when you don’t seem to have enough time during the day.
Breastfeeding is sometimes an intimidating thought for some women, so we hope the above tips can give you peace of mind and put it into perspective on how to make breastfeeding easier. If you have any other tips, share below. We would love to hear!