If you’re anything like me, you started out with hopes to breastfeed your baby at least throughout his or her first year. You envisioned it as a beautiful thing to connect you to your little one. You were aware of all the amazing health benefits and even researched it a bit. Heck, you were even excited to save all that money from not buying formula! Then your precious little bean arrived. Enter: poor latching, sore, chapped, bleeding nipples, aching boobs and clogged ducts (not to mention the rest of your body feeling like it got hit by a truck). If it weren’t for the internet and a few close friends who’d been through the trenches before me, I would’ve thrown in the towel way sooner and ordered that formula right off amazon prime.
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Now just so you know, I was only able to breastfeed my baby for 3 months because I wasn’t producing enough, which I later realized could’ve been improved if I was consistent with just a few things— and no, I do not recommend eating a whole batch of lactation cookies in one day (I tried that. It works but it’s definitely not good for your diet). For more on that topic, check out this post— 5 Ways to Increase Your Milk Supply (Without Going Crazy). However, in those 3 months, I learned A LOT that I want to share with YOU, so that you can have a way better experience than I had. Now, I’m in no way a lactation consultant or a doctor, so please seek their advice. I’m just a mom sharing what worked for me.
10 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
1. Nipple Shields
I don’t know why I didn’t use these sooner. My son was having a difficult time latching so my nipples were sore and bleeding so badly when I finally realized I had a pair of these. I slipped them on and viola —breastfeeding hurt way less AND my son finally learned to latch well!
*Note: use these only under DIRE circumstances, to ensure your baby learns a proper latch. Once latch improves, go back to bare-breasting immediately. The best way to ensure a healthy supply is full-on mouth-to-nipple nursing.
2. Soothies Gel Pads
These gave my nipples immediate relief and you can reuse them several times before tossing them.
3. Nipple Cream
Again this stuff helps a ton with chapped nipples and it’s safe for baby to breastfeed even after you’ve applied it. Mother Love Nipple Cream comes highly recommended by my newlymom counterpart!
4. Breast Therapy Gel Pads
Ice packs (or hot packs) for your boobies. I loved these.. not only did they feel amazing but they give you an added boost if you’re not that well endowed haha, although after giving birth I’m sure looking sexy is the last thing on your mind. Adding heat to your pre-feed routine also helps the milk be flowin’ 😉
4. Pump Often When You’re Not Breastfeeding
Not only will this increase your milk supply, but it will help alleviate engorgement and prevent clogged ducts.
5. Massage Those Boobies
Milk ducts get clogged. It’s way more common than the breastfeeding gurus will care to share. To prevent an infection and even more pain, put a heating pad on your boobs for 5 minutes and then massage from the back to front of the duct. The best massage motion for me was simply to move in sync with the flow of the duct, from the base of the duct to towards the nipple.
6. Switch It Up
Change positions in how you feed your baby. The angle they are sucking from determines which ducts are being used. So, to make sure you’re emptying all the ducts have your baby to drink from all angles. In the beginning, I found the football hold was – by far – the best position to ensure a proper latch.
7. Feed From Both Boobs
(10-15 minutes on one and then 10-15 minutes in the other) then hand the baby off to someone (if you can) and pump both boobs.
8. Milk Saver Breast Milk Collector
Breast milk is liquid gold – or unicorn juice, if you will. When I was feeding my son on one side the other boob would be leaking everywhere and I got so frustrated that the milk was being wasted. Enter: milk saver...it does just that (saves your milk) so you can collect the excess, freeze it or store it in a bottle in the fridge for later!
9. Drink LOTS of Water!!!
This is one of the tips in our other post “5 Ways to Increase Your Milk Supply (Without Going Crazy)” and I can’t stress it enough! First of all, you need to stay hydrated simply for your own self care, but the more you drink the more you make!
Happy milk making!!
Want to TRIPLE your milk supply? CLICK HERE for your FREE Triple-Your-Milk-Supply How-To Schedule!
Here are some other related posts that may interest you:
3-Step Routine That Tripled My Milk Supply
5 Ways to Increase Your Milk Supply Without Going Crazy
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