17 Jan I Want To Breastfeed My Baby. What Do I Need To Know?
You asked! Here are our top 7 Tips when you want to breastfeed your baby:
- Pick Your Place. Choose a place in your home where you can be comfortable and have the space to set up pillows and an overall supportive environment for yourself. Somewhere where you can physically and emotionally relax, slow down, and reduce chaos & distractions.
- Give Yourself Grace. Getting started with breastfeeding your new baby means starting a new relationship. And relationships take time to build. Both you and your baby have a sharp learning curve to travel in the beginning and adjustments will continue to be made throughout the time you choose to breastfeed this baby.
- Utilize Your Support. Breastfeeding is not something we recommend doing “on your own”, especially in the beginning. Your support network of family, friends, your partner, and your postpartum doula is important and wants to help you meet your infant feeding goals. Definitely say yes to accepting their help with physical logistics and reach out for professional guidance as soon as questions come up.
- Come Here Baby. After you have picked your place and are comfortable, bring your baby up to your breast, and avoid hunching over to bring your breast to your baby. Hunching over so that your breast lowers to your baby will stress your neck and back muscles, giving you additional aches & pains that make the whole process more difficult. Lifting your baby up to your breast and then having someone from your support network place pillows under your arms and elbows to keep baby lifted up to you, is the name of this game.
- Open Wide! Tickle your baby’s lip to encourage a very wide open mouth. This is how you’ll accomplish the goal of baby latching onto as much of your nipple and areola as they can. So, making sure that your baby has as much of your areola as possible, is important. A key to comfortable and effective breastfeeding is to avoid the shallow latch.
- (After The First Few Days) Pain Should Be Temporary. With baby’s lips pointing/flanged out, rather than curled in and when avoiding the shallow latch, there shouldn’t be prolonged pain. If there is pain beyond 5-10 seconds, go ahead and break baby’s latch, trying again. Break the latch by interrupting the suction and inserting a pinkie finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth, creating a pain free release.
- Soothe your breasts. In the beginning, it is normal to experience some soreness. This is a very demanding job for your breasts. Taking care of your breast tissue during all phases of your breastfeeding journey is important. Everything from gel pads and breast shells like these, to over the counter nipple creams, to rubbing expressed breast milk onto your nipples and allowing to air dry can be helpful in supporting your breast tissue and keeping it healthy. Finding what works for you and avoiding what doesn’t, will make your life much easier.
When shit is going down…reach out to an Infant Feeding Specialist or IBCLC:
- If pain is persistent beyond latch corrections and position changes
- If you can hear clicking sounds while baby is sucking
- Tissue damage: cracked, bleeding, blistered or peeling nipples
- Anytime you want more support that you have right now
- Anytime you are unsure about milk supply or baby’s weigh gain
- If you wonder about your baby’s ability to latch completely
- If you feel anxious while breastfeeding
For Postpartum & Infant Care Doula support and/or Infant Feeding Specialist support: firstname.lastname@example.org or (360)602-1564.
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