Breastfeeding can be a challenge. Here are some of our favorite breastfeeding tips including breastfeeding positions and breastfeeding supplies to make breastfeeding easier.
Breastfeeding Tips to Help You Successfully Breastfeed
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As a new mom, breastfeeding can be a challenge! I remember after my first week of breastfeeding being in so much pain and wanting to die! I remember thinking to myself, “Just do it for one more day.” “Just one more day.” The thoughts of one more day turned into, “I can do this for one more week.” These thoughts were finally replaced with, “I can do this until he turns 1!”
So How Did I get to the Point where I Knew I could successfully Breastfeed him for a whole year? I got smart on How to Breastfeed and What Breastfeeding Supplies I Needed to Make that Successful!
Here are my Breastfeeding Tips I’ve Learned Through Breastfeeding 4 Kids
How to Breastfeed Your Baby
Skin to Skin Contact
Getting a good start is really the key to successfully breastfeed your baby. With each of my children, my experience was a little bit different, but I can tell you that I had each one of my babies skin-to-skin with me as much as possible in the beginning.
It may seem like everyone talks about latching all the time when it comes to breastfeeding, but it truly is the cornerstone of being able to actually breastfeed a baby successfully. Having the right latch helps prevent problems in the future as well.
Try to get baby to open their mouth as wide as possible
Infants have itty bitty mouths, but I try to get my babies to imitate me by opening my mouth really wide as I’m getting ready to feed them.
It may sound funny, but it does help. Try compressing your breast to fit as much of the boob into their mouth as possible. Make sure you make your breast parallel to your baby’s lips. It’s also helpful to remember to have the baby latch with their lower jaw as you are guiding your breast into their mouth. I remember it chin to chest and nose to nipple.
Be sure your baby has a flared latch! Trust me! It reduces a lot of pain if you can be sure to help baby with this as much as possible. My number one tip to do this is to have the baby latch and then slide your finger in the side of their mouth to fix each lip. I always do the bottom first and the top usually follows suit. This brings more of the breast into their mouth.
Breastfeeding Tips on Breastfeeding Holds
There are several different breastfeeding holds that you can try. Finding the right position for you and baby will be key to nursing success! Some of the most popular breastfeeding holds are the cradle hold, football, and side lying.
The cradle hold is what you see a lot of moms use. This is when your baby rests their head on your elbow on the side you are nursing on. You typically will support their back with your opposite hand.
The football hold is popular if you have a c-section because the baby does not go across your stomach. It also works well for women with large breasts. Small/ premature babies are very successful in this position. You will hold your baby facing you with their legs going under your arm. Support their head with the hand on the side you are nursing on.
One of my favorite positions is side-lying. This is when you and your baby lie down on your sides tummy to tummy with your baby. Use your hand to direct your baby’s head to your breast and the other hand to hold the breast steady. This is a great position at night for tired moms!
For more breastfeeding tips on positions click here.
I’ll admit to you that having sore nipples is really inevitable but it doesn’t have to be unbearable. Your nipples have to build up a tolerance to breastfeeding. Once you build that tolerance your nipples will not be sore. A good nipple cream will be super helpful!
Breastfeeding Supplies to Make Life Easier
There are countless lists out there of what Breastfeeding Moms need when they have a new baby.
Part of getting some good things going while breastfeeding a baby is having a comfortable position. My Boppy pillow has been my favorite thing by far. Nursing pads are a must, especially in the beginning. Your milk will start to come in and engorgement sets in causing leaking. Keeping clean, dry nipples really helps keep them from getting chapped. Nipple cream really helps seal out the moisture. It also helps so much with getting some relief from nursing! I like to keep mine handy and lather it on really thick.
Having a good breast pump has saved me so many times. There are times when the baby doesn’t feel like eating or sleeps for a bit longer than usual and you get really full! And then when you pump you don’t want to waste your precious “liquid gold”, so breast milk storage bags make it so you can save every drop. My babies are always spitting up, especially when their tummies are learning how to digest. And they always spit up when you least expect it! Having several good quality burp cloths all over the house has helped me so much! Finally, you need to find a Nursing bra that offers great support during the day and at night!
If you feel like you are struggling to breastfeed, don’t be afraid to seek out more knowledge or get some help from a lactation consultant! Milkology is a course that is really helpful and beneficial as well. I can’t recommend it enough. I really wish I would have had it when I was breastfeeding my first baby!
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With these breastfeeding tips and tricks, you will be on your way to breastfeeding success!
Is your baby becoming distracted while breastfeeding? Maybe you are making the Number 1 Biggest Nursing Mistake?
Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!