Breastfeeding has tons of benefits for mom and baby. However, nursing can come with many roadblocks for new moms, especially for those who face issues with milk production and latching.
New moms may also have other things on their plates, a lot like Darcy from the film For Keeps on Prime Video. Like many of us, she has to juggle parenting with her work. Similarly, for moms of newborns, breastfeeding can just feel like another task on their endless to-do lists. If you are a new mom looking for breastfeeding tips, read on!
Start Breastfeeding Soon After Birth
While you may feel like resting after delivering, the best time to start breastfeeding is within two hours. If you have your baby in a hospital or birthing center, you will immediately have access to staff who can remind you to breastfeed and offer help. By starting nursing right away, you will signal your body to begin producing milk. This can help alleviate potential issues with milk production later on.
Allow Your Baby to Latch Properly
New mothers should know that it takes time for both you and your baby to learn how to properly breastfeed. You both are new to this! Babies tend to latch onto the nipple correctly when given time to do so. But there are cases where your baby might need a little help. If you experience latching issues, try repositioning your baby so that the baby’s nose touches your breast and the baby’s mouth is able to access your nipple. You may also need to move your baby’s nose closer inwards if your baby only latches onto a small portion of your nipple. The proper form of latching involves a baby’s mouth covering your whole areola.
Find a Good Breastfeeding Position
Newborns are unable to hold their own heads up, so it’s vital that you support their head while you nurse. There are many different positions you can try to make sure both you and your baby are comfortable. The belly-to-belly position is the one most recommended for newborns.
To try this position, position your baby’s shoulders downward, and then lay the baby’s stomach against your stomach. From there, help your baby’s nose find your breast, and then give your baby plenty of time to latch comfortably.
Be Patient When Switching Breasts
A lot of new moms believe they need to feed evenly from both breasts during every nursing session, but this isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, your baby will only feed from one breast, and it’s important to remember that it’s okay. After feeding, you can pump the remaining milk from your other breast to promote milk production. If you find yourself having issues pumping, I offer support.
If your baby is willing to feed from both of your breasts, be sure to give the baby plenty of time before switching from one breast to the other. This would be a great time to burp your baby. By giving your baby time to get comfortable on one side, you will prevent the baby from becoming irritable once you do switch to the other side.
Look for a Lactation Consultant
If you have tried every trick in the book and still are struggling, remember that it’s perfectly OK to ask for help. Lactation consultants are nursing experts who are certified, and they work with many different women with many different problems. They know the issues you are dealing with. You can usually meet with these consultants in person, virtually, or over the phone to get the help you need right away.
Breastfeeding can be intimidating for all new mothers. It’s important to remember that it is completely normal to struggle with nursing, especially with your first baby. You can always make nursing easier by trying to feed soon after birth, giving your baby enough time to latch, and, perhaps above all, seeking help when you need it.