Breastfeeding is easy and should come naturally. Who am I kidding? As a new mom there were so many hurdles I had to get over to make breastfeeding easier.
From pumping and storing milk, to dealing with engorgement and fussy feeders below are a list of tips that helped me when I was breastfeeding and pumping.
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As soon as I sat down comfortably and got baby latched on, I would suddenly remember that I needed something. I would constantly ask my husband to fetch me something, if I decided to move and nurse my baby in a different room, I wouldn’t have half the things I needed, they would be all over the house.
Instead of having a breastfeeding station, I created a breastfeeding basket. This was a life saver for me; you can pick up and fill it with anything you may need during the time when you are breastfeeding. I used something similar to this basket as I could hold my baby with one hand and easily grab the basket in another.
My basket contained everything that I needed my favourite water bottle, burp clothes, snacks, nipple cream, wipes, my breast pump, diapers and toys to entertain the other kids. The great thing its everything you and your baby need in one place.
Preparation is key
Breastfeeding is definitely natural but far from easy. Anything that can make breastfeeding easier and help you get on the right track from day one is definitely vital. As a new mom – there is just SO much to know about breast feeding a baby!
From my experience it’s a great idea to prepare for breastfeeding by taking, simple and affordable online breastfeeding class. I like the Milkology Course as it is run by a certified lactation educator, is video based, and comes with a troubleshooting guide – that’s important.
Whichever breastfeeding position you choose, remember to make sure you and your baby are comfortable. Whatever position you’re in your baby should be stable and supported, while his head, neck and spine should not be twisted. Ensure you feel relaxed and comfy too the best way to do this is to by using a boppy pillow.
If you are nursing in bed it is especially important to sit in the right position as it’s easy to slouch leading to back pain. One of my friends suggested this pillow and I haven’t looked back since, it supports the back and neck and can also be used in bed, a chair or on the couch.
Related: Best Bassinet for Breastfeeding
Two Shirt Method
Nursing your baby in public can make a new mom feel anxious, if you pull your shirt down to feed half your chest is exposed; pull it up and your whole belly is on display. Luckily, layering two tanks or tees totally solves this problem (and looks cool, too!).
All you have to do is wear a nursing tank under your regular shirt. Pull up your top shirt, keep the tank top pulled down, and unclip the strap. Your belly is covered, your chest is covered, and baby can easily eat without having to have a blanket over their head.
heat to relieve pain
Warm breasts let out more milk. You can warm your breasts before nursing by using a warm wash cloth, hot shower or reusable hot packs. This hack can help you increase the milk output which can be a lifesaver.
This hack can also help when you are engorged or tender. It can also help to massage your breasts because it can help prevent blocked ducts and stimulate your let down reflex.
Skin to skin
Studies have proven that getting skin to skin with you baby helps the whole breastfeeding experience – it helps baby latch and increases breast milk production and it’s just super great for your baby and you.
I always forget which side I had breastfed from last. I tried writing it down, but with household chores, a newborn, and being absolute shattered it was quite easy to forge, not to mention my notebook would go missing and be once found would usually be covered in pictures of Ana and Elsa.
I found these clips which are actually made for holding your shirt up for when you are pumping or feeding, but I would use them to remind me which side I fed on last.
You could attempt to make your own version, something as simple as a hair elastic, ribbon or a cute little safety pin on the side that you breastfed last. There are also lots of apps that can help you keep track of which side your baby began the last breastfeeding session, how long your baby nursed on each side, and so much more.
Low Milk Supply
As a new mom this can be something that is always on your mind. If you want to increase your milk supply, do not worry thee are plenty or ways to increase you breast milk, knowing what can cause breast milk to decease and using practical tips that helped me increase my breast milk in a matter of days is great for both mama and baby.
The first few weeks of breastfeeding can be rough on your nipples. Working out how to latch your baby on and finding a good position really takes it toll. To reduce pain, apply cool compresses to your nipples after breastfeeding. Gel pads can also be used on dry nipples.
If you have cracked or sore nipple then the last thing you want is your nipple chaffing against your nursing bra. Breast shells are great because firstly, the have a soft silicone back for a comfortable fit and secondly they collect any leaking of liquid gold breast milk. They can be used when breastfeeding or pumping.
You could also try using Milk Savers help make the most of your supply by catching all the milk that leaks during let-down on the non-nursing side and they help to prevent stains, too!
If you’ve got a fidgety baby who can’t stop pulling your hair, sticking his fingers in your nose and pinching your neck every time he nurses, a nursing necklace could be the key to your sanity.
I found nursing necklaces especially helpful when I was breastfeeding in public as I didn’t want my baby’s movements to move my nursing cover and expose me.
They’re irresistible to curious little hands and affordable, too (or you could try making your own!).