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Breastfeeding Advice for New Moms

12 things every woman needs to know if she is planning on breastfeeding

by Angela momsfirststop.com  |  2318 views  |  4 comments  |       Rate this now! 

Breastfeeding is probably the most difficult and rewarding things you can do for your baby. It’s also a personal decision and no woman should feel like she is any less of a mom if this is something she can’t do or decides it’s something she doesn’t want to do.

Breastfeeding is a huge commitment and, for me, it didn’t come naturally. I spent a lot of time crying because my nipples were blistered and bleeding and baby was hungry and wasn’t cooperating. I was the sole food source for this helpless mini-me and I had very few moments for myself, most of which was concentrating on sleep.

1.) Ask to breastfeed your baby immediately after you give birth. This is a good way to bond with your baby and to use your baby’s natural born instincts to suck. This is important because this will help your baby learn to breastfeed and it will help establish your milk.

2.) Use the lactation specialists provided by the hospital. They helped me and the baby latch correctly and answered any questions I had. I felt a little embarrassed at first to have another woman maneuvering my breast but it was all for the benefit of the baby. Take their names and numbers down and don’t be afraid to call.

3.) Twenty minutes of nursing is enough time to feed baby; any longer and you could increase the possibility of damaging your nipples.

4.) It is completely normal for it to take two to five days for your breast milk to come in.

5.) If needed to (or ask the nursing staff), you can cup feed your baby formula to help keep the baby full until your breast milk comes in and you don’t have to worry about nipple confusion.

6.) Nipple shields are great to help prevent nipple damage or even give you nipples time to heal. Also, some baby’s have a hard time latching on and the nipple shield helps the baby latch on correctly. You can buy these at the store or you can request one from the nursing staff.

7.) Buy several comfortable nursing bras. I preferred something without underwire. I also highly recommend getting nursing tanks. Glamour Mom has a lot of nice options, but they are pretty expensive. I went to Target and bought a couple for less than $20 apiece.

8.) Mastitis causes swelling, redness, tenderness, and pain in the breast. There may be an infection, so it is wise to consult your doctor. I can speak from experience: If you are experiencing pain, don’t stop breastfeeding. In fact, try to have the baby feed first from the breast you are having pain with. Use cold compresses if needed.

About the Author

As a busy mother of 2 and one on the way I have dedicated my blog momsfirststop.com to discussing the good, the bad and the ugly of being a mommy.

Read more by Angela momsfirststop.com




4 comments so far...

  • Thanks for the article. Two things though. First off, if your baby is latched on correctly you don't need to worry about damaging your nipples by nursing too long. Many newborns need the extra time and comforting that being at the breast allows. Also, if you need to feed your baby by cup, it's best to give them breastmilk, so that supplements don't effect your supply as you're building it up.

    It's very true that many Moms feel awkward breastfeeding at first...that was definitely my experience.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 9th May 2008

  • I'd like to make a plug for renting a hospital grade pump...among other working-mom friends, I've had the best success keepng my supply up after returning to work. I credit the pump...it seems to get a ton more milk out in very short amount of time (usually 6 to 8 ounces in about 10 minutes) so I'm away for my desk less.

    But it's expensive - $75 per month...after 4 months I've spent what my friends spent on their Medela PumpNStyles and I still have to give the thing back. However, I look at it like this...it's still cheaper than formula, and $75 per month is worth it to increase the chances that she'll get only breast milk for a full year.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Hope on 1st May 2008

  • Great article! Breastfeeding did not "come naturally" for me either. I was very encouraged and uplifted by sound advice such as this, those early months are rough. I especially like the "it's okay" attitude - thanks!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MortonPixie on 1st May 2008

  • This is all great advice, *although* it's my understanding that lactation consultants discourage supplementing much - if at all - with formula as suggested in #5. The best way to get your milk to come in hard and fast :) is to keep putting your newborn to the breast constantly throughout the day. Worst-case scenario is baby gets a full tummy on formula alone and loses interest in the breast. Each time baby suckles, or even nuzzles without getting much colostrum, milk production is encouraged. :)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 30th April 2008

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