Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience for many mothers, but it can also be challenging and overwhelming, especially for first-time moms. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been breastfeeding for a while, these tips can help make the experience easier and more enjoyable for both you and your baby.
- Get comfortable: Make sure you’re comfortable while breastfeeding. Use pillows to support your back, neck and arms, and find a comfortable chair or sofa to sit in. Consider investing in a nursing pillow, which can help position your baby correctly for feeding and reduce stress on your arms and back.
- Practice good latch: A good latch is essential for successful breastfeeding. Make sure your baby’s mouth is open wide and that the nipple is positioned far back in the baby’s mouth. If you’re having trouble with the latch, talk to a lactation consultant or your doctor for help.
- Know the signs of a hungry baby: Crying is often the last sign of hunger in a baby, so it’s important to look for other signs of hunger, such as lip-smacking, rooting (turning their head towards your chest) and fussing. When you notice these signs, offer your breast right away to prevent frustration and reduce the amount of crying.
- Take breaks: It’s okay to take a break from breastfeeding, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Consider pumping milk and giving your baby a bottle so that you can take a few moments to relax and recharge.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is essential for successful breastfeeding. Make sure you’re drinking enough fluids throughout the day to keep your milk supply up and to keep you feeling energized.
- Seek support: Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and support. Talk to other moms who have been through the experience, join a breastfeeding support group, or seek professional lactation/breastfeeding assistance if you’re having difficulties.
Breastfeeding is a learning process for both you and your baby, so give yourself time to get the hang of it. Be patient and kind to yourself, and remember that every mom and baby are different, and what works for one may not work for another.
We are here to help you every step of the way. Call (540) 739-3623 to request an appointment for lactation and breastfeeding support. For virtual appointments, visit our Televisits page for more information and instructions.