Breastfeeding tips for an easier nursing experience

Nursing is not always an easy experience, but then again, neither is motherhood.

Having a baby brings a lot of new experiences that are exhilarating, frustrating, and unexpected. Coincidentally, these are some of the same feelings new mothers have when they try breastfeeding their baby for the first time. If you’re expecting a baby, or have a newborn and could use a little advice about nursing, we offer tips from some pros in the know.

Latch is key, kid

A common problem for new moms is dealing with sore nipples. Although experiencing some tenderness is normal, it shouldn’t be so bad that it makes you want to consider switching the baby to formula ahead of time!

Nonprofit organization La Leche League International (or LLLI) recommends making sure your baby is “latching” onto your breast in the correct way to avoid sore or even damaged nipples. Latching involves positioning the baby just right so that her mouth gets part of the breast and areola, with the nipple stimulating her high palette for sucking.

Get a “breast” friend

A first-time mom might feel awkward trying to find a way to support the baby’s head while making sure the baby is in the right position – she might wish she had an extra pair of hands! According to LLLI, one easy way to remedy this is to try different positions, or even to get a nursing pillow that helps place the baby correctly and lets you focus on getting a successful latching on.

Don’t worry about a schedule, find your rhythm

It may seem as though you’re working blind for the first few days, but don’t feel that your baby needs to be on a feeding schedule, especially if you’re both getting the hang of nursing. You’ll quickly get an idea of when your baby is ready to feed, and it can be an hour after she just fed, or four. Watch for some telltale signs like rooting around or lip-smacking, and try to get to her before she sounds the alarm and really starts to cry. Otherwise you’ll have a frantic feeder and that may create sore latch-ons later.

Relax

Easier said than done, right? But there is a lot to be said for being patient with the process. Many new moms say that they had trouble producing milk when they were stressed out, whether it be over the problems of breastfeeding or just life in general. La Leche League also reminds us that a relaxed mom makes for a more relaxed baby. Take your time and remember you’re both learning as you’re going along.

Nursing is not always an easy experience, but then again, neither is motherhood. Don’t be hard on yourself if the first days of nursing your baby aren’t going well, and don’t feel guilty if you’re tempted to just give it all up and go to formula. With some patience and determination, you and your baby can find a way to work as a team and have an enjoyable breastfeeding experience.

Source: stock.xchng