When you're pregnant you worry about the birth of your baby, the pain, the health of your new arrival, the nursery decor, diapers, sleep or lack there of to come, but many new moms don't give breastfeeding much thought and most don't realize their journey to nurse could be just as challenging (although so worth it) as many other chapters of their life. Granted for some it comes easily but for many others it takes a great effort and determination to continue.
Photo Courtesy of Belly2Baby Childbirth Education & Doula Services
- Cabbage leaves in your bra help soothe the pain of engorgement when your milk supply comes (usually 3-5 days after birth)
- Warm compress and warm showers help soothe
- Don't worry about seeing how much your baby is getting, just worry about the soiled diapers
- Pumping in the first few days if baby is having trouble nursing can help encourage your milk supply to come in
- A nipple shield can be a lifesaver if you're finding nursing painful or have flatter nipples "Yes! The nipple shield is the greatest invention ever and instantly worked! Saved so many tears for both mom and baby."
- Squishing your breast into a hamburger shape will help baby latch on
- Pick up a good nipple cream and nursing pads for your hospital bag
- The first 6-8 weeks are usually the hardest- it does get easier!
- Your nipples are not used to breastfeeding it may hurt even when you're doing everything right- despite what all the books say about it shouldn't hurt.
Photo Credit: Heather Armstrong
- Mother's milk tea and other supplements may help increase your supply if needed
- Get professional help from a lactation consult if you need it
- Rest and spend as much time skin to skin with baby as possible
- Drink water & then drink some more
- Co-sleep. Makes the night feeding better. Research this subject to learn more about how to do it safely, learn about the benefits, etc. -S.K.
- Create a nursing nook or corner. Have snacks and water handy and a comfy place to sit. -Tanis Nielson-Rhoads
- "You are not the first person to struggle and no one is judging you. Make YOUR choices based on YOUR situation, you are a wonderful mother regardless." -Victoria Mom
Photo Credit:Nathan (C's Hubby)
- "Before you try formula, trying pumping for a day or two (or more). That's what a lactation consultant suggested to me and it totally saved me, or I would not have been able to continue breastfeeding. It sounds strange, but giving your nipples just a little break, even a feeding or two but as much as several days, does wonders. Then, every time the pain starts coming back, you can always pump." -L.G.
Here's a link to 50 best breastfeeding resources out there. Thanks to Claudia for sharing this.
*I'm not a health care professional, so of course seek the help of a health care professional, these are just tips and suggestions from other mothers who have struggles with nursing too!