Are you a first-time mom who's getting ready to greet her baby into the world? Not sure what to expect when motherhood comes around in a few short weeks/months? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about breast feeding right now.
If you find it to be more difficult than you anticipated, don't be afraid! A lot of mothers have these worries when they first go to breastfeed their children. As long as you're learning along the way, you'll do great!
See below for an in-depth guide listing several different breastfeeding tips that will help you get the hang of it.
1. Have the Right Mindset
Until you actually experience breastfeeding your child for the first time, there's no way to explain the unique experience that it can offer you. It's a beautiful part of this journey!
Far too many mothers go into breastfeeding with the wrong mindset. They think along the lines of "I have to do this for my baby to survive!" or, " I'm just feeding him/her so that they don't cry." Those types of thoughts put too much pressure on yourself as a mom.
Instead, look at it for what it really is: a chance to connect with your baby. For those of you that rolled your eyes at that last sentence, consider this: many studies have shown that breastfed mothers become closer to their children (and vice versa) than those that primarily bottle-feed their babies.
Why is that? Because breastfeeding is the best time for mommy and baby to connect. It creates a form of interaction where the physical closeness turns baby and mother into one. This is why babies are often closed with their mothers than anyone else in the family.
On a chemical level, breastfeeding releases oxytocin a hormone that naturally boosts the physical and emotional attachment that moms and babies form.
2. Free Yourself Up
Perhaps one of the primary reasons that soon-to-be mothers might dread breastfeeding is because they feel that it will interfere with their lives. They've heard tales from their mother and grandmother about being strapped to the couch and at the mercy of whenever the baby was hungry.
But times have changed since then! There are many great products out there that can help mothers to free themselves up and still have breastmilk ready whenever the baby needs it.
First, if you don't already have a portable breast pump, be sure to invest in our BabyBuddha portable breast pump. As the name would imply, this breast pump is compact, easy to use, and has 14 different modes to increase breast milk production.
Of course, there will always be times where you feel full, but the baby isn't hungry. What do you do during those times? Are you forced to endure the pain until your son or daughter is ready to feed again?
We recommend using these moments as an opportunity to stock up. You can invest in special packs to store the breast milk and freeze it until the baby needs it. This can also help with a smoother transition from breastmilk to formula, whenever you want to start that or your body stops producing breastmilk. Whichever comes first!
3. Find Your Routine
What happens if the baby comes into the world and you aren't able to supply enough breast milk for them? What if you're out in the middle of the public with no way to breastfeed your baby? Can you breast and formula feed?
Of course, you can! This is actually a very common practice among most modern families. It's a process known as supplementing, where you combine both breast milk and formula.
What you may find is that your baby is partial to one of the two. It isn't uncommon for babies to prefer formula, especially as they get older.
Here's our recommendation: stick with breastfeeding as long as possible, but don't force it. Use whatever your baby prefers; it's not like you're going to convince them otherwise anyways!
4. Find What Works for You
While it's true that motherly instincts take over, that doesn't mean that your baby will instantly latch as soon as they come out of the womb. Some moms require assistance to help the baby latch.
It can be overwhelming to hear people like your parents, friends, and even the lactation nurse tell you that breastfeeding should be done a certain way.
Just find what works best for you and your baby. There will be a period where you both are figuring it out; don't panic! Just take that learning curve in stride.
5. Prioritize a Good Latch
Nothing hurts more in breastfeeding than feeding a baby that isn't properly latched. This is a quick pathway to sore and swollen nipples.
When the baby is properly latched, their mouth will cover most of the nipple area, especially the areola, which surrounds the nipple. This will help you avoid any pain while feeding.
Make sure to capitalize on the experience and knowledge of the nurses at your hospital when the baby is born. They can help you figure out how to get your baby to latch properly.
Enjoy Breast Feeding While You Can
It may seem weird to think about right now, but there will come a day where you wish you could rewind back to breast feeding your baby. It's just one of those special moments in a mom's life!
Take the time to read this article for more information on what factors you should consider when buying a breast pump.