When you become a mother, you’ll have to do many many things for the first time, like breastfeeding, changing the diaper, cleaning your baby and powdering it. Of course, not all of it is instinctive. You’re going to have to learn how to do it all - by yourself or with a little help.
Since each mom and each baby is different, we can’t have one rule for all. Some moms might take a few days to learn how to be awesome at breastfeeding, but some moms feel it takes them months of both time and practice to be good at it.
What we found is that there are a few good practices to follow, which should help you get through the most common breastfeeding problems like latching and lactating. Here are a few pro-tips!
1. If you’re still in the hospital, ask the nurses or lactation experts to check how the baby latches on while you breastfeed. Once you have the right position, latching shouldn’t be painful.
2. Doctors recommend that you don’t push the back of your baby’s head while you’re trying to guide them to your breast, as the baby might instinctively bite down.
3. Follow your instincts. When you’re trying to decide a schedule to feed your baby, it’s better to let your instincts guide you.
4. Recognise when the baby is hungry. It will take time, but you can figure out when your baby might get hungry. When you feed them before they get super hungry, they might not bite as hard.
5. Point your nipples at your baby’s nose, says one doctor. This might help them latch on better.
6. Some experts say that babies might feel more secure when their feet are touching something, which might make them less fussy. Try this out and see if it works!
7. If you feel a strain on your back, neck and shoulders, try using a nursing pillow.
8. Drink more water! Better hydration makes it easier for you to produce enough milk.
9. Some women experience sore and cracked nipples, which can make breastfeeding really painful. There are plenty of suggestions on how you can make this better, by using nursing creams. But while you pick out nursing creams, make sure they are safe when ingested by the baby. Applying these creams in small amounts should be fine.
Some creams and tips on how to deal with sore and cracked nipples can be found here.
10. The last but the most important tip is - Relax! You’re doing a wonderful job. No one has taught you this before, and you’re inexperienced yourself. Even if you feel like you’re falling short, you can always find a doctor or an expert to talk to.