As a new mom, you often find yourself receiving breastfeeding tips from all nooks and corners. Some work, some don't. With a plethora of breastfeeding advice and experiences, you may end up feeling more confused than ever.
How about if we only tell you the stuff that really really works?
Here are some tried and tested breastfeeding tips that are guaranteed to make you a breastfeeding guru!
Breastfeed with a gap of maximum two hours. Even if the flow of the breastmilk appears to be slow or you feel that it is blocked, keep on trying. The more you try to get the hang of it in the first 7 to 10 days, the easier will it get for you. You can take help from our 8 effective ways to increase breast milk.
Breastfeed your baby after having a warm bath as it improves your milk flow. This is the same reason why you should first gently massage your breasts before starting a feeding session.
Ask for privacy when you need to breastfeed your newborn baby. If you are in a public place, find a corner that is not flooded with people or noise. This is not the time to welcome breastfeeding tips from strangers. Panicking, experimenting and feeling uncomfortable will only make things worse. Study suggests that your baby can feel his/her mother's uncomfortable vibes. So relax and let the goodness flow.
Never delay your baby’s feeding time just because your baby is not crying for the feed. Making a feeding routine at an early stage helps a lot in the long run. Crying is the last and final sign of hunger. Early indications may include one or more of these activities: Your baby starts to push out their tongue; lick their lips; bring their hand near the mouth; lick their hand; or open their mouth (as in searching for boobs) in left and right directions.
Always change the diaper before starting the feed. Studies show that newborn babies take the feed better when they are wearing a clean and dry diaper.
Put the areola (the dark area around the nipple) inside your baby's mouth along with the nipple. Your baby's tongue movement on the areola is said to create a stimuli to fasten up the flow of the milk. Putting only the nipple will end up making your nipples sore and they will eventually bleed. Remember that breastfeeding is not supposed to cause you pain and discomfort, other than in the first few weeks when you are new to this art. If it does, refer to our article on breastfeeding problems and their solutions.
Wash your hands and wipe the breast region with a damp cloth before and after each feed. Your body may have milk residue, sweat, lotion or perfume on it so it is recommended to clean the boobie area before starting to feed. Sometimes carelessness on your part could be the reason behind your little one's health issues.
Sterilize. It is not just for formula feeding mums but also for breastfeeding mums who use breastfeeding accessories such as breast pump and breast shields, etc. that needs to be properly sterilized after every use.
Before sitting down with your newborn baby, make sure you drink a glass of water, juice or any healthy hydrating fluid. It is believed that drinking a glass of water or juice right before breastfeeding helps increase your milk flow.
Express and freeze breastmilk if you feel that you need to go somewhere without your baby. Instead of leaving your baby with the nanny and formula milk, your baby can always enjoy breast milk in bottle. You can even freeze this miracle milk. Refer to our article on expressing and storing breast milk for a complete guideline on how to store breast milk at room temperature, in the fridge as well as in the freezer.
Take care of your diet. Make sure you do not eat anything that causes gas or constipation in your baby’s stomach as what you eat may affect your baby’s digestion. However, make sure you include all sorts of proteins and vitamins in your diet. Make a habit of drinking milk regularly, if you are not already doing so.
Your breast milk may slightly have the taste of the food you intake. So make sure you do not eat anything too spicy or with a very strong flavor. This is one of those important breastfeeding tips that many mothers tend to ignore. Like adults, babies can also sense flavor, and may not like it. Don’t eat any painkillers or medicine unless your doctor says it’s okay to.
Look into this list of breastfeeding accessories and pick the items you really want. Keeping your budget in mind, welcome all kind of help that you can get.
If you have a premature baby, you may find breastfeeding a more challenging task. Preemies may take some time to properly latch on. Patience is the key word here. Read our article on breastfeeding tips for your premature baby.
Don’t give up no matter how hard you find breastfeeding a newborn. Give your baby and yourself time to understand and cooperate with each other. After all, breastfeeding is a new process for both of you. For all kinds of breastfeeding help, refer to our breastfeeding section.
Do not ignore your pain if you are experiencing sore nipples. Talk to your doctor and ask him/ her about the right ointment for your nipples, and meanwhile use a breast-shield. A great tip to heal chapped nipples is to extract some breast milk by gently squeezing one of the nipples (using your thumb and fingers) and put this breastmilk on the sensitive skin – it works magic in healing the sore nipples.
This is one of the often-ignored breastfeeding tips. Your mood plays an important role in this process. Even your baby can sense your low mood, and this can directly impact your milk flow. Give yourself a few minutes to relax, think about the positive things in life (holding your baby is definitely one of them) and then give it a go. If you continue feeling low, do check if you are suffering from Postpartum Depression.
Do not make a "just in case" bottle. Give your 100% before giving up on the breasts. Never get too impressed with the convenience of any bottle-feeding mom. Stick to your breasts. Read our articles on benefits of breastfeeding and breastfeeding vs bottle feeding for your help and motivation.
Share your breastfeeding experiences with a trusted friend who has been through this process. You will be amazed to know that a lot of difficulties you are facing now were also faced by her in her initial days of breastfeeding. You will also benefit from some really handy breastfeeding tips and tricks.
Breastfeeding may seem quite easy as an observer and difficult when you start it. However, within a couple of weeks you will get the hang of it and soon you will be giving new moms some super valuable breastfeeding tips :)