Breastfeeding is vital to a baby’s health and is the most natural way of nourishment as well. However, it can be quite an uphill task for a first-time mom that is still not acclimated with the process. If you are a new mom or want to brush up your knowledge the second time around, here are 10 ways that will make breastfeeding easier for you:
- Purchase a set of nursing pads
Leaky breasts are quite an embarrassing issue to most lactating moms. No woman wants to have wet spots of leaking milk on their outfit. The one sure way of handling this problem is by the use of nursing pads; you only need to place them inside your bra, right on top of your nipple and they will absorb any milk leakage. The cloth ones are cost effective as you only need to wash them and use them over and over again.
If you wear a figure hugging outfit, the outline of the nursing pads may be visible. In such a case, silicone pads will do the trick; they are invisible under garments and also exert enough pressure on your nipple to prevent them from leaking.
- Ensure your baby latches on properly
Practitioners will tell you that breastfeeding is not supposed to be painful. However, for most moms, the first days of lactation can be painful. You can prevent this from happening by simply making certain that your baby has a proper latch; you only need to ensure that your little one sucks your entire areola and not just your nipple. Also, it is important that you make sure that the baby’s lips are turned out. Dealing with this issue will become much easier by using a nipple shield; it will ensure that you get a great deal of relief and create a proper latch for the baby.
- Make use of breast shells
Breasts come in different sizes and shapes. Some women have flat or inverted nipples; making it very difficult for a baby to have a proper latch. If you have inverted nipples, the market today has your back; breast shells are designed in such a way that pull your nipples out. It is advisable to wear these breast shells while pregnant; before you begin nursing. This ensures your nipples are out ahead of delivery.
- Apply topical treatments
Most nursing moms will have cracked nipples at one point or another. A nipple shield will definitely take away some ouch from your girls. However, if you have cracked nipples, you may have to apply some topical treatment to ensure that you heal as soon as possible.
Most topical treatments in the market have no preservatives or additives; this means that you will not need to wash it off when feeding your baby. You should do your due diligence here and ensure that what you are buying is safe for you and your baby. This means that you should absolutely contact your physician and ask them which topic treatments you can take, if any.
Every women’s situation is different and only a professional that you trust can lead you to the right direction. Always remember that!
- Get a healthy amount of rest
After delivery, getting a goodnight’s rest can be super hard; you have to wake up late at night to nurse your baby. Sleep deprivation can be dealt with by use of breast pumps; these pumps are not only for moms who go back to work immediately after delivery but also for moms who are about to lose their mind due to inadequate sleep.
Another great idea is to get yourself a breastmilk pump to use as a backup option to extract some milk before going to bed. You can view a list of the top options from this guide by Maternityathome.
Doing so will then allow you to have your spouse feed the baby while you get your beauty sleep, as well as various other times where you will inevitably need a break from breastfeeding too.
- Get some privacy by utilizing a nursing cover
Some moms do not mind feeding their babies in public but some are quite shy. For all the shy moms, a nursing cover is the way to go. A nursing cover will give you the privacy you need while feeding your baby. It also allows you to peek in from the top.
- Use the warm or cold gel pads
Now that your baby is able to sleep soundly through the night, you may be experiencing some soreness in your super full boobs. Here, a breast pump comes in handy but if you do not have one, gel pads will do the trick for you. Gel pads, warm or cold are placed inside your bra for pain relief.
- Adopt the shortcuts of lactation
Make your breastfeeding process easier by making use of pumping and saving breastmilk in storage bags. These bags are directly attached to your breast pump and once you are done, you can detach it, seal it and store it in a fridge or freezer. This eases the breastmilk pumping process.
- Learn your baby’s “I’m hungry” behaviors
When your baby gets hungry, there are multiple non-verbal cues they will use to let you know they are hungry; licking the hands or fingers, mouth movements and turning the head from one side to another. All these cues will ensure that you know it’s time to feed the baby; before they start crying and make breastfeeding much more difficult.
- Read up on nursing
After delivery, all you will want to do is get some good rest and recover. It may not be the ideal time to start learning new things. For this reason, it is advisable that you do your research on nursing ahead of delivery. If you wait until the last minute, you can instead take a breastfeeding class as that is the most hands-on approach to find and correct any miscues you may be doing from the direction of a professional.
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Also published on Medium.