Breastfeeding is great for babies. It is their source of food and nourishment, and it makes them grow the way they should. However, many first time moms have read books, watched videos, have sessions with their Lactation consultant only to find it difficult to cope with breastfeeding. As I was scurrying through Reddit, I found useful breastfeeding tips for new moms from moms who have been through this route several times. Below are 30 useful breastfeeding tips from Reddit moms.
Let’s get started.
1. Have snacks with you whenever you are breastfeeding. You will be hungry A LOT when breastfeeding. Get a Tupperware full of snacks such as chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits so you can easily grab them when needed.
2. Drink at least a bottle of water after every feeding. It will make you stay hydrated! You can fill up a Klean kanteen insulated water flask in the morning, at lunch and at night. It will help you drink enough water.
3. Breastfeeding gets worse right before it gets better. Breastfeeding may be painful and uncomfortable for you and the baby at the beginning. Hang in there, things will get better. It is not a natural skill for you and the baby. The two of you need to learn. Keep that in mind. If you can, search for LaLecheLeague in your area. They will help with your breastfeeding journey.
4. Stop tracking the number of times you feed your baby, let the baby set the pace. You will be happy you did.
5. Get the right size of breast pump flanges. They come in different sizes, just like shoes. The standard size is the same for everyone. Get the right size for your breast to enable you to pump more and also be comfortable while pumping.
6. Check if your insurance will cover home lactation consultant visits. It will help you. Do this before you give birth, so you are ready when there is an issue. Take note, Nurses are not lactation consultants. Get a good lactation consultant that can help you when the need arises.
7. Once you establish a stable supply of breastmilk, pump to get your baby used to bottle-feeding. However, don’t start pumping immediately the baby is born. Allow your baby to grow a little to about 6 weeks to avoid painful clogs. It will help the baby get used to the breast. Also, when baby latched, it promotes milk production and regulates your milk supply to baby’s needs.
8. It is difficult to share breastfeeding responsibilities with your partner, family or friends. Therefore, find other ways to make them useful. They can help to do laundry, cooking, diapering and the dishes.
9. If your nipples hurt, nurse from one breast for one session and let it rest for the next session. This will help your nipples to rest and heal.
10. Before you feed the baby, use your hands to press around the breast for lumps. If there are any, use a warm washcloth to massage them to help clean the ducts.
11. Learn how to breastfeed with your baby sitting up (when they are older) so that when you find yourself in a tight corner such as the backseat of the car, it will be easy to breastfeed.
12. To nurse modestly and confidently in public, get a nursing cover or if you wear a shirt, lift it from below instead of unbuttoning or pulling it down.
13. Concentrate on breastfeeding. Don’t focus on anything else. Hold the baby as much you can for the next few weeks. This helps to build up bonding between you and the baby.
14. Learn to eat with one hand and get a nursing pillow. It helps to keep the baby in one position, and then you can have a free hand.
15. Ensure the baby’s body is facing your breast, so she doesn’t have to turn her head to reach the breast. It is hard to swallow that way.
16. Breastmilk is good for healing purposes, especially scratches on the baby’s body caused by their nails. It can also be used to cure baby acne and cradle cap. All you need is to rub it on the affected area.
17. Always pump after a shower. The warmth helps to open up the ducts and allows for a good pumping session.
18. If you are pumping and breastfeeding, you need a good double pump bra. Double pumping reduces pumping time by half since you are using the two breasts at the same time. It also stimulates the two nipples and areolas at the same time, helping to produce the let-down reflex quicker. It also leads to better-drained breasts.
19. Use nursing bras. Wear them often. Avoid bras with underwire, even if you have a large breast. Add breast pads to help prevent leaking. This will save your cloth from breastmilk stains.
20. Supplement breastfeeding if your milk supply is not enough for your baby.
21. If you don’t already have a breast pump, check to see if your insurance will pay for it.
22. Not every uncomfortable thing about breastfeeding should be fixed, sometimes you just have to endure it. It will pass.
23. The baby will sometimes get fussy in the evenings even after nursing, bear with it, it’s a passing stage and the baby will grow out of it.
24. Allow the baby to latch often while you are in the hospital. This will help to detect any breastfeeding issues and solve it right there.
25. Get a comfortable chair to breastfeeding your baby. It is good for you to sit in a comfortable chair to make breastfeeding easier. Get a nursing chair with head and feed support works the best.
26. Pump and freeze some breastmilk. Breastfeed in the day and let your partner feed the baby while you sleep at night with the frozen breastmilk.
27. Get a boppy pillow. A boppy pillow helps to raise your infant higher up to bring them closer to the breast. This prevent you from bending over to feed the baby. The baby can also use it for tummy time and when sitting up.
28. Get a Haakaa breast pump. It is one of the best. It can produce as much as 50ml at a time. It is easy to use when breastfeeding and it catches the let down that may have leaked into your breast pad.
29. Take care of your nipples by keeping them away from tight clothes and bras.
30. Get nipple shields. You can always wean off them when your baby has learned how to latch properly.
There you have it, 30 breastfeeding tips for new moms.