As someone who helps women breastfeed almost every single day, there are a few tips and tricks I can give you. Here is an important thing to remember: Your baby is boss.
- Don’t give a bottle. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But when you’re exhausted, and it’s in the middle of the night, it might be tempting to tell the nurse to just give the baby “one bottle”. There are a few reasons that this is bad for breastfeeding.
- If you take any bottle and hold it upside down, the milk just comes out…the baby does not have to work for it. Later, when you try to put the baby to the breast, sometimes babies are like “Where is it? Before it was free-flowing into my mouth and now I’m having to work for it!?”
- Your baby is the only person who is able to tell your body how much milk to make. Remember what I said…your baby is boss, and every time you put your baby to your breast, your baby is telling your body how much milk to make.
- Some people believe in “nipple confusion.” This means that your baby will get use to the shape and texture of the artificial nipple on your bottle, and later get confused when you try to put the baby back to a breast with a soft fleshy nipple.
- Put the baby skin-to-skin after delivery. Placing the baby skin-to-skin after delivery increases your chances of breastfeeding earlier, making more milk, and breastfeeding longer. Any time you have trouble getting your baby to latch-on, place the baby skin-to-skin and let the baby lay there and think about it 🙂
- Tell whoever is important to you that you want to breastfeed. Your husband and family play an important role in your breastfeeding success. They have to be your cheerleaders. When you want to give up—and at some point you will probably want to give up—they have to be the ones to say “try one more time” and “you can do it.”
- Make sure your nurse, OB physician, and pediatrician all know that you want to breastfeed. When people know that you have a desire to do something so healthy and beneficial for you and your baby, and they know that you really really want to succeed, they are more likely to help you and offer support.
- Ask for help. Your hospital should have a lactation consultant. Ask to speak to her before you deliver, if possible. Let her know that you’ve educated yourself on breastfeeding and that you want to succeed. Even if your hospital does not have a lactation consultant, any OB nurse should be able to help you.
…and remember, it gets easier! I promise 🙂
Until my next delivery ❤
Breastfeeding Education on YouTube