Best Breastfeeding Tips! (read before having a baby)
Skin to Skin after Birth
Skin to skin contact after birth with Mom has been shown to help send signals to the body that the baby has arrived!
Baby stay in room in Hospital
I am not sure how you feel about this, but I might recommend baby bring in the room with you. One of those first nights it felt like Leo was awake all night constantly eating, and I think that is a common process where baby is sending a message to your body that baby is here and starting your milk coming in.
Give your partner some expectations
Bring you water and food, even if they are snack bars. This may sound like I am being lazy but when the baby just fell asleep on you, sometimes it’s not even worth moving. But, you will need water and food to keep your milk supply up!
Support your Back & know your form
Stack pillows on your lap and a nursing pillows on top of that. Don’t lean over. It’s bad for your breastfeeding form and your back.
Get a good latch
If it hurts, break the seal, unlatch baby and try again. Boob should go deep in babies mouth. Watch videos to know details of babies head and your boobs.
LLL a Leche League is a good support group
It is essentially a group of women going around in a circle talking about how great breastfeeding is, but I enjoyed going even though I was terrified leaving the house on my own with baby so soon after birth.
Get help early!
If you are having issues, get a consultant or go to a LLL meeting and try to get some help.
Delayed Pacifier Use
Some people swear by pacifiers, and I think they can help a baby suck back to sleep without needing Mom which is why they are so great. I didn’t use any pacifiers or bottles early on to not risk nipple confusion, and my son never ended up taking one. This is fine with me, but some Mom’s might decide they really want that tool in their tool box.
Delay pumping breast milk until your supply regulates
This will help prevent an oversupply and possible problem with engorgement, etc. I didn’t start pumping for a month after baby came so my supply could regulate. Not all mom’s have this luxury depending on when. They need to go back to work, but this is what I found to be recommended
Baby might eat OFTEN and that’s okay!
Also, Leo ate a lot early on. Sources often say baby needs to eat every three hours, but in those first weeks feedings were more like every twenty minutes which a lot of people don’t realize when people are visiting, and you are constantly breastfeeding. Just know that of your babies pee and poop output is the recommended amount, then baby is getting enough food and you don’t need to supplement if you don’t want to.
So I mentioned that for the young baby I like the my breast friend nursing pillow and cover. They are definitely not stylish but they were the most functional. Once baby was bigger like 4-6 months maybe, I started to prefer the boppy pillow.
I have a lot of nursing bras. I like the thin ones when I’m at home and the nursing tanks when I go out in public to block my chubby belly, but this is my favorite because it provides support! Definitely buy some nursing bras though if you are hoping to breasfeed a while. Regular bras and sports bras might not give your boobs the space they need early on.
Baby sleeping in a cosleeper was helpful to me
Leo slept in our bed in the snuggle me organic bed. Make sure to read all the rules about what is recommended first. I also switched to side feeding when baby was a little bigger and that helped my go back to sleep easier.
Use bottles that work for you
When we did use a bottle after about a month, we ended up with the Dr. Brown’s wide mouthed glass bottles. I think a bottle warmer would be helpful if you are going to be heating up bottles often. Breastfeeding directly from the breast was so much more convenient for me than pumping though.
You can hate pumping and that’s okay
I hated pumping. It always felt so inconvenient and those bonding hormones aren’t released and can come with it’s own struggles, but once you get the hang of it, it’s doable. It was sometimes hard for me to get my milk to let down during pumping unless I was pretty full.
If you stop breastfeeding, that’s okay!
It would be difficult to breastfeed as long as I have if I had the typical office job. Breastfeeding is really hard and both parties have to want to do it, so if you stop, that’s okay! You are still a good mom!