Breastfeeding in the early days can be difficult. Here are some tips on motherhood for breastfeeding success in the first few days to meet long term goals.
1. Nurse within the first hour of delivery
This is SO important! Babies are super alert right after they’re born, and ready and awake to breastfeed. Wait too long to nurse and your little babe will likely be dozing and not too interested in trying to latch on.
2. Make sure the latch is correct
Getting a correct latch was so hard for me. I went to a breastfeeding class while I was still pregnant, but it’s hard to prepare for breastfeeding without your baby!
3. Try different breastfeeding positions
Originally the cradle position seemed like the most natural position for me, but when it wasn’t working, the lactation consultant suggested I try the football position.
4. Nurse on demand
Look for common hunger signs of licking lips or rooting (turning head and opening mouth) and feed on baby’s timeline.
5. Don’t let baby sleep through feedings
Some babies are just born great sleepers! In the beginning, before your supply is established, try not to let baby sleep through feedings.
6. Don’t worry about supply
Most new moms worry about milk supply. I went through the same thing– it was impossible to tell how much she was getting.
7. Don’t introduce a bottle or pacifier
While the baby is still getting used to nursing, it’s best not to introduce a bottle or pacifier for the first three to four weeks of your little one’s life. Make sure to let the hospital staff know about your breastfeeding goals, too, so that they won’t be tempted to soothe a fussy baby with a bottle or pacifier while you’re resting!
8. Don’t neglect your diet
If you aren’t eating well or keeping yourself adequately hydrated it will impact your milk quality and production.
9. Relax, and try not to stress
Trying to relax and not stress as a new mom is way easier said than done. But nevertheless, my lactation consultant took time to explain how stress affects milk supply when she could see how frazzled I was getting. Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for triggering your milk let down. If you’re stressed about getting baby to latch, then guess what? You might be hindering your let down reflex.
10. Don’t ignore the pain
Yes, breastfeeding may hurt a bit in the first few days while you and your baby get the hang of things, but overall, it should be relatively painless.
11. Ask for help
I learned quickly that breastfeeding was no cake walk. But it can be done with practice, help, and support.