Breastfeeding is necessary and natural, but it is not as simple as we want it to be.
Holding your newborn for the first time after enduring the most physically and emotionally demanding feats of pregnancy and childbirth brings euphoric feelings.
But along with this comes feelings of stress and anxiety. The first few weeks of having a newborn baby may appear to be the longest and most difficult.
But there are ways to survive the first month of breastfeeding while keeping you and your baby healthy and happy.
Below are some tips for the first month of breastfeeding.
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Article written by Kat Sarmiento.
Tips and Tricks for the First Month of Breastfeeding
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Here are 8 tips and tricks to make breastfeeding more manageable.
- Supporting your back with a nursing pillow
Nursing pillows are said to be of considerable assistance to nursing mothers. As most moms prefer to feed in a sitting position it often causes pain due to the leaning position. It is designed particularly to give proper support to the child during breastfeeding and releases pressure from the arms, back, and neck.
2. Having a handy breastfeeding kit
When you’re on the road with your little one, breastfeeding kits are essential to make every nursing session easier. The first step is to gather your supplies and create a checklist so that nothing gets left behind. Some of the most important supplies are nursing stools, a blanket, a throw pillow, tissue, touch-activated light, a water bottle, and a burp cloth. Snacks, water, and an entertainment source for the mom because you’ll most probably get hungry, thirsty, and bored while breastfeeding. All that’s left is to find a bag large enough to hold all of these items and you’re good to go.
3. Trying different breastfeeding positions
When it comes to feeding infants, the mother’s arms undergo a lot of pain and instability. But there are a number of ways you can hold your baby. There is the cradle, side-lying, football, and cross-cradle position. Once you’ve tried these positions, they will all feel natural with time. Simply choose two to three methods that work for you and use them alternately.
4. Staying hydrated
Staying hydrated is absolutely a must to breastfeeding moms because the more you drink, the more milk you will make. Many moms experience an intense thirst right as their baby latches on and starts to nurse. Thus it is essential that you have plenty of water to carry around and investing in a good tumbler is a start.
5. Having a breast pump
We often overlook the limitations of breastfeeding when we talk about how amazing it is. How about working moms, or moms who need to strike a balance between home and other chores while taking care of their newborn?
A breast pump helps a nursing mom pump and store breast milk in order to allow the baby to be nourished even when the mother is not around. This could also help newborn babies who have trouble latching onto the mother. It’s also ideal for dads who wish to feed their babies.
6. Wearing comfortable clothing
You don’t need to buy special breastfeeding attire to breastfeed comfortably. A blouse that you can quickly open or a tee shirt you can easily pull up to expose your breast would work just fine. However, if you want to freshen up your nursing clothing, there are a plethora of options available to make breastfeeding easier and more discreet.
A general tip for choosing clothes from your wardrobe: having clothes with prints and darker colors will help hide any unexpected leaks much better than light colors.
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Breast pads have also been proven to soak up breast milk from leaky breasts. This prevents stains from reaching your clothing but some argue that this will only help to some degree. Although leaking breasts are common for the first couple of weeks, if there are still leaks after you have fully weaned your baby, it is time to see your doctor. Additionally, since you’re likely to start getting your period as early as six weeks after giving birth, it’s a good idea to invest in easy-to-wear and well-made period underwear.
7. Taking advantage of apps
Did you know that there are apps designed to help you stay organized when it comes to pumping and nursing? Some apps let you create an entire schedule and reminders for your baby’s day so that you don’t miss any important feeding or forget how much you’ve fed them each day. Other apps also have features that include graphs, reports, trending charts, and reminder alarms.
8. Investing in sleep
Last but not least on this list of breastfeeding hacks is investing in sleep. With a newborn baby in your life, sleep deprivation hits a different level. Being sleep-deprived can put anyone at risk for a range of physical and emotional problems. An important reason why you need plenty of sleep is to prevent a low milk supply. All that lack of rest and feeling of stress can impact a mother’s milk supply.
****A Quick Note to you– Postpartum is generally very hard on your body. It can be painful. Here’s a post you should definitely read that will help you navigate this uncomfortable time in a much more comfortable way.
To wrap it up, don’t forget to have a nursing pillow, a handy breastfeeding kit, try different nursing positions, access to water, a breast pump, wear comfortable clothing, use nursing apps, and invest in sleep.
Breastfeeding is difficult for every mother but within that short period, you should be proud of yourself for giving the best gift you could give to a newborn child. And don’t worry; it gets easier after the first month.
This article was written by our guest author, Kat Sarmiento.
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