March 9, 2020
Successful Breastfeeding Doesn’t Have to be Scary.
Successful breastfeeding… Being a new mom is a daunting, and overwhelming, to say the least.
You have this brand new baby and you have no idea what you are supposed to do with him. He’s never breastfed before, so he’s no help.
You are being inundated with “helpful” breastfeeding advice from your mother-in-law and well-meaning friends- and the crazy blog lady.
There’s diapers (cloth or pampers?) and creams, and books, and bottles?, or pacifiers, how long do you feed the baby, how often?
How do I tell if he’s getting enough?
Why doesn’t he like my right boob?
And on top of all that, you haven’t slept.
It’s ok… take a deep breath and grab a glass of water. Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be scary.
7 Tips for Successful Breastfeeding
Find a comfortable spot.
-You can use your favorite chair by the window
-the end of the couch with a ton of pillows
-the rocking chair in the baby’s nursery.
Anywhere you feel comfortable is a good spot.
It helps to use pillows or other support to keep your arms and neck from getting tired.
Get Baby Comfortable
– Make sure that your baby’s diaper has been changed, and he/she is comfortable.
-There is no need for extra blankets unless it is chilly in the room. We want your baby comfortable, but not sleepy, as he/she will not nurse as energetically if the baby is trying to nap and eat at the same time.
Drink plenty of water.
I cannot stress this enough.
You should be drinking at least one glass of water at every feeding.
Juice, milk, and green tea are good alternatives if you just cannot drink another glass of water.
It helps to keep the water cold- It tastes better cold- trust me.
I have found that it helps to have a handy bottle that I can carry around and not worry about spilling.
Stay away from a lot of caffeine and large amounts of alcohol. If it keeps you awake or makes you feel bad, chances are, it will do the same to your baby.
Prepare your space before you sit down with your baby.
Make sure that you have extra diapers, wipes, blankets, towels, and your glass of water is easily accessible.
Put on your music, or movie, or grab the magazine that you have been wanting to read.
This is not a time to go over your to-do list or stress about the dishes in the sink.
The more anxious you are, the more anxious your baby will feel.
A good exercise to do is to go from head to toe and relax the different parts of your body. You will be surprised at how much tension you hold in your neck and shoulders, your jaw, even your fingers get tense throughout the day.
Close your eyes and envision the part of the body that you want to relax, then tense the muscles up and hold it for a count of five, then release…
What helps you to relax? Some suggestions…
-Just turning the lights down
-A favorite book or magazine
-A favorite podcast
Ask For Help
– if your baby is not having 3-5 wet diapers a day during the first week,
-your nipples are sore,
-it hurts when your baby is eating
There is a chance that he is not latching correctly. Check with a la leche league in your area or a local lactation specialist. Call your midwife, doula, or obstetrician for names of people that can help you. Trust me, it is worth it.
Check out my local resources page for doulas and lactation consultants you can trust!
Interested in a newborn or breastfeeding session? I would love to meet you! Contact me for a complimentary consultation!
Crystal is a local birth and newborn photographer currently residing in the Savannah, Georgia area. She loves Jesus, coffee, and her family- usually in that order. Her love for families includes educating and empowering mommas so that they know their choices and can help themselves to have better outcomes in labor and delivery, as well as post-partum.