Breastfeeding can be challenging for new moms. Breast milk is packed with the right balance of nutrients for your baby. It has antibodies that boost your baby’s immune system and the milk is easier to digest than commercial formula. The good news is breastfeeding might even help you lose some of your pregnancy weight!
Seek professional help
The first time you breast-feed your baby, ask help. You can go to certified breastfeeding consultants or a breastfeeding specialist before you give birth and have them nearby during your first breastfeeding.
Bayou City Breastfeeding has one of the best licensed breastfeeding consultants in Houston, TX. Researching and reading about breastfeeding is one thing but doing it is something else.
Maternity nurses or a registered lactation consultant in the hospital can assist you with breastfeeding tips like how to position the baby and how to make sure he or she is latching on correctly.
You can start by getting comfortable by supporting yourself with pillows if needed. Cradle your baby close to your breast and hold your baby skin to skin rather than learning forward to bring your breast to your baby.
You can support the baby’s head with one hand and support your breast with the other hand. Encourage your baby’s mouth to open wide by tickling your baby’s lower lip with your nipple. Your baby will take in part of the darker area around the nipple. You will find your nipple far back in the baby’s mouth, and at the same time, the baby’s tongue will be cupped under your breast. Listen and observe for a rhythmic sucking and swallowing pattern.
Release the suction by inserting your finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth if you need to remove the baby from your breast.
Let your baby set the pace
Newborns breastfeed usually every two to three hours round-the-clock. Observe for early signs of hunger, like restlessness, stirring, lip movements, and sucking motions.
Let your baby nurse from the first breast thoroughly about 15 to 20 minutes until your breast feels soft. Try burping the baby afterward. If your baby is still hungry, you can offer the second breast, if not, start the next breastfeeding session with the second breast. Pump the other breast to relieve pressure and protect your milk supply if your baby constantly nurses on only one breast at a feeding during the first few weeks.
Don’t get discouraged if you find breastfeeding a difficult task. Understandably, feeding a newborn every few hours can be tiring. Always remember that your breasts will produce more milk if you breastfeed your baby a lot. Plus you will get the hang of it and breastfeeding will feel more natural.
If you need help, do not hesitate to ask a breastfeeding consultant or your baby’s doctor. Bayou City Breastfeeding has the best team of IBCLC lactation consultants to help you and your baby, especially if every feeding is painful or your baby is not gaining weight. Your nipples might be tender during the first few weeks but breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt. Ask your baby’s doctor for a referral if you have not worked with a lactation consultant.