Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing. I am currently still nursing my 15 month old, and I don’t see her weaning anytime soon. When I became pregnant with my LO I knew breastfeeding was something I wanted to try. I researched the topic, purchased the Le Leche League book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” and attended a breastfeeding class at my local hospital.
I thought I was prepared, but once that little newborn was placed into my arms it was a different ball game. LO was pretty small at birth so her mouth was small, because of this we had a few issues with her staying latched. I also had a fairly strong let down that caused her to choke often. Ooops! Since she was small I had a difficult time finding the right position that was comfortable. Once we got through those few hiccups breastfeeding slowly became easier and easier.
I’ve complied a list of 7 tips that I think are important when it comes to breastfeeding a newborn. I hope you find these tips helpful
1. Be present
I know it’s easier said than done, but try to embrace the moment. Avoid scrolling on your phone or finding something to distract you. I say this because I was guilty of doing this very thing. You think “they don’t really know they’re just eating”, but breastfeeding is way more than just eating. Try to take it as a moment to connect quietly. You’ll notice as baby gets older how much they love looking into your eyes.
2. Follow your baby’s cues
Following your baby’s cues rather than watching the clock puts less stress on mama. It is easier if you’re able to relax, be still, and do plenty of skin to skin. Skin to skin will keep mom and baby close which promotes a healthy breastfeeding relationship, and allows you to focus on your baby’s hunger cues. This can be rooting, chewing their fists, or smacking and licking their lips.
3. Join a Breastfeeding Support Group or Meet with a Lactation Consultant
I found this to be extremely helpful in the early months. If you feel like your having issues these two options can help reassure you that everything is fine. If there is an issue you can nip it in the bud early on. Many hospitals offer free Lactation support for moms, I know my hospital did. I still drop in every now and then for support. Also, it’s nice to be around other breastfeeding moms.
4. Keep snacks around
If you’re like me, when tending to a newborn you kinda forget about what you need. In order to feed baby you need to feed yourself! I kept healthy snacks around that I could easily get to. You can choose whatever you like. I kept things like apples, almonds, granola bars, oranges, and WATER. Be sure you have lots of water!
5. Trust your supply
Worrying if baby is getting enough is common. We live in a world where seeing is believing, However YOUR BODY knows what YOUR BABY needs. Also, remember that a newborn baby has a stomach the size of a cherry! This gradually increases to the size of an egg after about 30 days.
6. Hold off on pumping
During these early weeks your body is trying to figure out how much milk your baby needs. Pumping can often trick your body into making more which can be uncomfortable. So unless you have to, try waiting until you’ve established your supply before pumping.
7. Take care of mama
If your Mom or MIL comes over have them help out around the house so you aren’t thinking about chores. This will keep your stress level down some. Also, if your spouse is home have him hold baby while you take a quick shower. People often say “sleep when baby is sleep” I found that impossible, but if you can some shut eye is definitely needed!
Hopefully these tips come in handy for you! I pray that your breastfeeding journey is a smooth peaceful journey. Breastfeeding is definitely a bond like no other! You Got This Mama!