Congratulations on your first baby! As you enter motherhood, you’ll be faced with common nursing challenges such as being in sync with your baby, understanding his or her cues, and dealing with nursing pain. You’ll probably find being a mother daunting, exciting, and nerve-wracking all at the same time; however, with the right support and knowledge on breastfeeding tips and tricks, breastfeeding will soon become a breeze.
To get started, here are five essential breastfeeding tips and tricks that you’ll need to know:
#1: Find a lactation consultant
Before your baby is even born, it’s advisable that you find a lactation consultant. Get one with a good reputation and keep the number on speed dial; it’ll come in handy when you’re having issues with a crying or fussy baby who won’t nurse.
Though a lactation consultant can be pricey, consider it a long-term investment. Aside from sharing breastfeeding tips and tricks, your certified consultant is equipped to handle any issues that arise, and she’s been through intensive training to make sure you succeed in breastfeeding your baby.
If you can’t find any in your area, you can also join your local breastfeeding support group. Often such groups consist of nursing experts that can assist you with your issues.
#2: Read your newborn’s hunger cues
As soon as your baby is born, put him or her to your breast if possible. This will get you off to a good start and train your baby to latch on to the breast. Your baby may not nurse right away, so give him or her some time to ‘explore’.
If your baby licks at the nipple, sucks on his/her hands or opens his/her mouth wide, you may try to nurse your baby. These are some of the cues your baby might be hungry.
It’s advisable that you nurse your baby before he/she cries, as feeding a crying baby can lead to belly aches later. Read your baby’s hunger cues and place your baby on your stomach, making sure his/her tummy touches yours.
#3: Position yourself the right way
When nursing, your baby’s stomach should touch yours, and your nipple should point at the baby’s nose. This position helps your baby from having to turn his/her head to latch, which could strain your baby’s neck and lead to discomfort.
If you’re sitting upright while trying to breastfeed your baby, press between your baby’s shoulders firmly as you bring him/her to your breast. De-latch and reposition if sucking hurts. Avoid pushing the back of your baby’s head; instead, place your hands gently at the nape of his/her neck.
#4: Burp your baby during breastfeeding
Remember to burp your baby in between nursing. Thorough burping helps to ease your baby’s discomfort, and avoid belly aches or bloated tummy later on. Your baby may have difficulty handling fast-flowing milk, so burping also helps to give him/her a break.
#5: Get a nursing pillow for better positioning
In order for you and your baby to be comfortable during nursing, a good deep latch is a must.
An improper latch is one of the major reasons of nursing pain. You can overcome this by using a support or breastfeeding pillow to get your baby to the correct breast height. In other words, a breastfeeding pillow helps position your baby at the right angle easily.
The Milkbar Single breastfeeding pillow for instance provides great support for breast and bottle feeding, as well as support on the stomach for expectant mothers as they lie down. The non-allergenic pillow, which comes with a convenient carry handle, helps protect delicate abdominal area especially for those who did C-section delivery. Additionally, the pillow aids in reducing your back and neck pain.
Breastfeeding is one of the most challenging things to deal with for first-time mothers. But with the right tools and lots of practice and support, you’ll be a seasoned professional in no time.