Breastfeeding can go well and then sometimes it can be a rocky road. I am biased in that it was easy peasy lemon squeezy for me with both our girls. It was a relationship I relish and often find myself pining for. I loved those days of nursing my babies, even in to those days where they were busy toddlers acrobatting around on my chest-I won’t forget them, ever.
So even though it was an easy experience for me-except for the time when I had to nurse my 6 week old who was up to her chest in yellow poop in the back seat of my old Blazer during a sandstorm right before I peed in a gallon sized freezer ziploc because we couldn’t get out of the car, there were things I did to set myself up for success that I know made a difference.
(I shared the above photo recently, but it’s one of my favorites-nursing Sunny almost always came alongside reading-it was such an awesome experience to share!)
I thought I’d save my Top 5 Breastfeeding Success Tips:
#1-In the initial weeks of being a new mom, have something nutrient dense you can nibble on every stinkin’ time you nurse that baby.
#2-Hold your baby upright against your chest for 20-30 minutes following a feeding whether or not you burped them. This helps to eliminate the discomfort of reflux.
#3-Find a comfortable position and use support. For some that’s the couch and for others a rocking chair or glider. For me in the first week it was either on my side or in a semi-erect position in bed supported by pillows. This means having someone close by who can and will help you get into position, or that you have enough pillows around to support you so that you’re not hunched over crunching your neck, shoulders and upper back into spasms.
#4-Drink a ton of water. If you don’t stay hydrated you won’t make as much milk and you’ll feel way more exhausted than you already are.
#5-Accept (and ask for) help. I am a Leave Me Alone I Can Do This Myself kind of girl and asking for help isn’t easy for me. When it comes to nursing, I did, and it helped me to flex that muscle a bit so that asking for help has been a bit easier since. That might mean someone playing with or watching your toddler, walking your dog, warming a bowl of soup for you or refreshing your bottle of water.
If you’ve tried these tips and breastfeeding still doesn’t seem to be working for you, you might need more support. I share a private lactation consultant with all of my clients. She does a fabulous job of meeting their individual needs and giving them the boost they need to get over the hump they are experiencing. Online forums are a great resource, too, in that they remind us that we’re not the only breastfeeding mama awake at 3 a.m. trying to figure out what’s up with our babies latch in the world!
What was your greatest support in breastfeeding?