First, let me say this: this post is not meant to start a war about whether or not breast is best.
That’s your own personal decision so I’m not trying to badger you into breastfeeding just because it worked for me. If formula works for you- go for it! I’ll have a few of these posts about breastfeeding tips so let’s start with tips on motherhood for breastfeeding success in the early days when you feel like quitting. Because believe me, those first few days can be rough.
And with Squeaker, I was just about ready to quit after two days in. We ended up surpassing our initial 6 month and even 1 year goal. We made it through a bout of mastitis and well, it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience for us both. Be sure to check out my breastfeeding tips and advice and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!
Breastfeeding can be an incredibly rewarding and incredibly frustrating experience. There are ups and there downs, but I think it’s all worth it in the end. I’m not a lactation expert, just a breastfeeding mom who wants to share what’s worked with my kiddos. Each of my three were breastfed, but each were breastfed for different lengths of time.
I’ve also got a post coming up for breastfeeding in the NICU so be sure to look out for that one soon.
Tips on Motherhood for Breastfeeding Success
1. Try to nurse as soon as possible after birth. While you may not feel in the best of shape after pushing that baby out, ask if you can hold your baby right away and bring them to your breast. While you may not get them to latch right away, establishing this connection can go a long way. Encourage your baby and guide them towards your breast.
2. Vary your nursing positions. You may find that a more “traditional” breastfeeding position is uncomfortable and that’s fine. What works for one mom won’t always work for another mom. For Squeaker and I, in the beginning, the traditional cradle hold did not work. Eventually we realized that the football hold and a side-to-side what was we needed.
3. Hand express if needed. One of the things that I needed to do to encourage Squeaker, was hand express a little bit into her mouth and then guide her to the breast. She was great with latching on, it was just a matter of getting here there.
4. Check your baby’s latch. If nursing feels painful, then you may need to check the baby’s latch. Ideally, your baby should have most of your nipple in her mouth when nursing.
5. Be prepared for when your milk comes in. This can be painful when your milk finally comes in. Use warm compresses or take warm showers. Just be mindful that when you take a warm shower it may trigger a let down.
6. Nurse often and on demand. When your baby is hungry (and you can see them rooting and/or searching for the breast), feed them. Often the cries are the last sign of a hungry baby. Don’t try to set a feeding schedule just yet with your baby and nurse when they want to nurse.
Did you breastfeed your baby? What advice or tips would you share?