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Breastfeeding should be easy. Or so they say! Find out the best breastfeeding tips for new moms based on the most common questions about nursing!
Breastfeeding is supposed to be nature’s big plan. Baby meets mom, mom meets baby. Baby’s hungry, mom has the milk.
They match, everyone’s happy.
Just like in the movies!
Well, as it turns out, nothing is like in the movies. And breastfeeding isn’t the exception.
You’d think that after 9 months of pregnancy, going through labor, and facing the challenges of a newborn son, moms would have been able to catch a break!
I was exhausted, and breastfeeding turned out to be… a whole new experience! A wonderful experience, don’t get me wrong, but a difficult one.
The good news? It won’t be that hard for you! Because you’re here, learning all you can about it!
During the first 43 days of my son’s life, I had a breastfeeding coach. She was a constant source of comfort and wisdom. She gave me top breastfeeding advice, every day!
Since my son was in the NICU, I basically could knock on her door with any question or problem I needed! She taught me to express manually, to pump, to recognize the cues of my son… Basically, it was less difficult for me than others because I understood the theory.
And, I want to make it less difficult for you, as well! Here are the top breastfeeding tips for new moms based on the 8 questions I heard the most during my NICU stay!
#1 Why The Hype About Breastfeeding?
Why don’t we just give the baby a bottle with formula and be done with it?
This is a very important question because it can be easy to give up on breastfeeding if you don’t know why you’re doing it!
The truth is that breastfeeding has many benefits for you and your baby. Did you know, for instance, that every mom’s milk is different?
We make it specifically for our baby’s needs! And, it changes during our baby’s growth to continue to be as useful as in the beginning.
Breastfeeding promotes a healthy weight gain, increases the baby’s defenses, promotes a healthy development of your newborn face muscles, creates a connection between you and your baby, and decreases the risk of respiratory conditions in your baby.
Is it magical? No, but close!
Breastfeeding also promotes a faster recovery of your body, including getting rid of the baby weight!
#2 How Do I Know If My Newborn Had Enough Milk?
At first, you won’t really know. A newborn can feed during five minutes and have extracted everything she needs.
This depends on a lot of factors, such as your milk flow, if your baby is colicky, the strength of her sucking reflexes, to name a few.
There is, however, a clear, immediate, warning sign that your baby isn’t having enough to drink:
Your newborn’s diapers!
Yes! You should feel the weight of the diaper to make sure that your baby has peed. If you get clean, dry, diapers for 8 hours, consult your pediatrician right away!
By the way, and speaking of diapers, did you know that a newborn baby that’s being breastfed can soil her diaper as much as ten times a day, or as little as once every four days?
Who would’ve thought!
Weight gain is also a good sign that your baby is having enough, obviously. But babies start gaining weight from about Day 4 onward. The first days, in fact, they lose up to 10% of teir weight! So don’t get scared if your newborn doesn’t increase in weight right away.
#3 When Should I Stop?
Whenever feels right for you and your baby.
There will be a time when your baby will start eating solids, and, little by little, she won’t need your milk anymore.
If you can gradually wean your baby off breastfeeding, it’d be ideal.
But most babies get attached to their mommies boobies.
It’s a comforting feeling for them, and they keep sucking long after they are full, and mommy’s nipples are raw!
We had to stop cold turkey a week before my son turned one year old because he liked breastfeeding so much he didn’t eat anything else!
And, he was still waking up every three hours to breastfeed, because he was never full.
And guess what? It was super easy! I was so scared it would be a nightmare, but after a couple of days, my boy was completely happy with our new arrangement!
Don’t worry if your baby is super attached and you can’t gradually wean him off, going cold turkey isn’t as bad it sounds!
#4 Why Isn’t My Newborn Latching?
There is a wide amount of reasons why. But the most common are:
- Positioning issues: Are you sure you’re breastfeeding in the correct position?
- Nipple issues: Do you have a plain or invert nipple?
- Does your newborn have a tongue tie or lip tie?
- Does your baby have baby colics?
Make sure you talk to your lactation consultant as soon as possible if your newborn isn’t latching. In most cases, there’s an easy fix!
#5 Should I Pump Breast Milk?
For most cases, yes.
Pumping is usually supplemental to breastfeeding.
By pumping, you’ll start building your milk storage for when you’re not around your baby.
Pumping is also a good way to increase your milk supply, and, for preemies, it’s the only way for our newborns to get mommy’s milk during their first days!
So, yes, you should probably pump. The number of times a day may vary depending on the case.
But, hey, it’s not a bad idea that your baby has a freezer full of mommy’s milk in case you need to be apart for a little while there!
#6 How Should I Store My Milk
Who knew that this was a concern?
You can’t just put it in a jar in the fridge and hope for the best.
You should stack it, labeled with date and hour, in sterile BPA-free containers.
The thing is that mom’s milk can be prone to bacteria. Think about it, this is natural, unpasteurized, unprocessed milk!
Which is great! But you need to be really careful when you handle it!
Also, make sure you have your hands and pumping utensils super clean! We don’t want to spoil mommy’s milk!
#8 How Can I Increase My Milk Supply?
This is the holy grail of pumping questions!
Most moms want to increase the amount of milk they produce. After all, we want to produce enough for our babies… and for our storage!
How on earth do we manage that!
In its core, breast milk supply follows an offer and demand dynamic.
The more you express (or try to), the more milk you’ll produce. In other words, your body generally is ready to increase or decrease its milk production depending on what your family needs!
Isn’t that great? Does it really work like that?
Well, mostly, yes!
But there are other things you can do to boost your milk production! Like getting enough sleep, pumping on a schedule, and drinking lots of fluids!
Do You Want to Know Everything There is to Know About Breastfeeding?
You can do it… From your Couch!
When Ollie was born, a trained lactation consultant taught me everything I needed to know.
Since I needed to go to the hospital every day for 43 days when my son was in the NICU, I took advantage of the pumping sessions to ask everything I possibly could about breastfeeding.
I had a healthy breastfeeding relationship from there, and I was always glad I took the time to learn everything I could.
Because of my circumstances, breastfeeding was easier for me! And I want to make it easier for you, too!
I want you to enjoy breastfeeding.
I want you to know what you’re doing.
After all, you’ll miss it one day.b
You can learn all you need to know about breastfeeding with The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class!
Yes, online. From your couch! The Ultimate Breastfeeding class is taught by Stacey, a Certified Lactation Educator who has taught thousands of women!
And, for an affordable price!
For a really affordable price you will learn:
- The properties of breast milk.
- The benefits of breast milk for you and your baby.
- How the lactation process work.
- Ways to increase your milk supply for good.
- How to express and store milk!
- Mastering latching and positioning of your baby!
- What to expect the first month of breastfeeding.
- What happens after the first month.
- How to master breastfeeding in Public.
- How to know if your baby is getting enough milk. What should the diaper output look like, and what can you expect in terms of weight gain.
- How to form your own lactation team!
You’ll also get tons of valuable bonuses:
- eBook: The Little Black Book of Breastfeeding Secrets.
- Breastfeeding Milestones Photo Cards.
- The Ultimate Troubleshooting Guide: Common Breastfeeding Issues.
This Guide is so comprehensive it needs its own sub-bullets, it teaches you:
- Caffeine intake and breastfeeding.
- Alcohol consumption and breastfeeding.
- Smoking and breastfeeding.
- Taking medications.
- Treating Postpartum Depression While Breastfeeding.
- What’s a nursing strike and how to treat it.
- What are tongue-ties and lip-ties in babies and how to treat them?
- What do you do if your baby bites you? (Ouchie!)
- Cracked nipples.
- Inverted/flat nipples.
- What to do if you have a clogged or plugged milk duct.
- What to do in case of Mastitis?
- How to treat a Thrush?
- What happens if you have blood in your milk?
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That’s a Wrap!
How has your breastfeeding journey bee so far? Are you pregnant and considering to breastfeed? Do you have any breastfeeding questions you’d like answered?
Let me know all about it in the comments!
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