Becoming a mother is one of the greatest joys of many women’s lives. But each stage brings its own hardships. However, there are ways in which you can prepare for these stages beforehand. The best example is to start preparing for Lactation before you have to actually breastfeed. If you’re planning on breastfeeding for the first time, there are a lot of surprises ahead! Along with the shopping list and nursery setup
Nursing your baby is no easy feat. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the only breastfeeding tips you’ll ever need, from the experts who’ve figured out the smartest tricks, shortcuts, and solutions.
Check out the following tips for an easier lactation after birth:
1. Take a Class
There are several things to learn about breastfeeding if you’re a newbie at this (or are breastfeeding after a long time). Terms like “engorgement,” “latch,” and “colostrums” will help you understand the process and the journey. After the birth, you’ll already be overwhelmed by the newborn’s responsibilities. If the breastfeeding terms come naturally, that’s one burden off your back.
Nursing may be natural, but it’s also downright difficult. While 83 percent of mothers breastfeed soon after birth, only 57 percent are still nursing six months later, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A class, whether online or in-person, will also help in making you familiar with breastfeeding basics. Practice the holds on a cushion or a ball; learn the various ways of getting the flow going – all of these are covered when you learn from the experts. It’s also wise to know about lactation consultant insurance.
2. Understand the Supply
Since your baby requires it, your milk supply will be an essential aspect of your life for at least six months. Expectant mothers have no way of telling whether their supply will be adequate or not. You can read up on how to influence the milk flow beforehand. You can also have the following methods on hand for increasing supply:
- Pump and feed frequently
- Meet a certain calorie amount each day
- Try nursing bars or lactation cookies
- Stay hydrated; have a water bottle handy at all times
3. Stay Comfortable
Your milk supply also depends on how you’re feeling at the time. So, make sure you’re comfortable and as relaxed as possible. A Newton-Wellesley OBGYN, lactation consultant, attendant, and any other person by you should be someone you trust and like. Invest in a nursing pillow, white noise machine, and anything else that can set your mind at ease.
4. Think about Pumping and Storage
Whether you’re exclusively pumping, pumping to soothe engorged breasts, or storing milk for when you need a break, a pump is a must-have for new mothers. Some may want a bottle available so that other people can feed the baby every now and then.
If you have to return to work some time after delivery, for instance, an electric pump is necessary. If you’re not planning to be away from the baby more than occasionally, a manual pump will be the more logical option.
Make sure you have some storage jars and bags on hand as well. Breast milk can last a long time in the freezer and having some can be a lifesaver at times.
5. Be Mentally Prepared
No matter how much you prepare yourself for the baby’s arrival, know that it’s not going to be an easy road. Prepare yourself mentally and don’t hesitate to ask for help from your loved ones. Mothers need and deserve a support system.
If you decide to give breastfeeding a try, rest assured that with a little bit of patience, some smart planning, and a firm resolution, you have increased chance of success. Read on for some simple, proven tips to help you make it through those early days.
Additionally, don’t be too hard on yourself or worry about other tasks while breastfeeding. Remind yourself that nourishing another human being is a proper job in itself. So, you’re doing a whole lot already.
6. Know That Pain Is Temporary
Breastfeeding is painful at first but it shouldn’t be that way after some time. With a proper routine and latching method, your body will toughen up and breastfeeding will be much less challenging. However, do see a lactation consultant if the feeding is still painful after a few weeks.
7. The Takeaway
Many mothers choose to breastfeed their babies. But most of them may not know what that actually entails. A little information and preparation beforehand can make a lot of difference. If you’re expecting and planning to breastfeed, this is the right time to start working on these tips.