Many women want breastfeeding to come naturally, especially on their first child, but the fact is, it is sometimes a very difficult task. Sometimes it helps just to have a little information to get you through it and on your way to enjoying the time you spend breastfeeding your child.
You should have already decided to breastfeed and be home from the hospital now. If you are like me, the person at the hospital in charge of helping a mother learn how to breastfeed didn’t really help at all.
You might not get your breast milk for a couple of days. When you get it, you will know. Your breast will start to tingle, hurt, harden, and feel good all at the same time. It is best if you stay away from push up bras.
Hold your baby in your desired position. Here is a website that will help you with positioning:
Latch your child onto your breast. Do this by using the tip of your finger to get your baby to open its mouth wide. When it is the widest, attach the baby to your breast.
Correct your latching.
If you have been latching your baby on wrong, you will know within a day or two because your nipple will start to hurt pretty badly compared to proper latching. You nipple might also start bruising, cracking, and bleeding because of improper latching. Once you have corrected your latching, you will notice your nipples starting to heal in a couple of days, and they should start feeling better.
Do not center your nipple with the center of your baby’s mouth. Instead, position the nipple a little off center by making the nipple closer to the top of your baby’s mouth. Experiment with different positions to find which one will work with your breast.
Try to feed evenly during each feeding. If you decide to do one breast for each feeding, you will end up having breasts of different sizes and it will be noticeable to others.
Take care of your breasts afterwards. I recommend using Lansinoh’s Lanolin after every feeding and cooling gel patches for 10 minutes at least once a day. For those with damaged nipples, the cooling gel patches will feel really good.
Realize it will take time for your nipples to adjust to the harsh suckling of your baby. Stick it out for at least a month before you give up completely. Be adamant and don’t rely on bottles during this month.
If you feel you are not producing enough breast milk for your baby, buy a pump and after your baby is finished eating off of each nipple, attach the pump and pump an extra 5 to 10 minutes. You should notice your breast milk increasing in about a week.
Go to the doctor if your nipples are bleeding profusely
See your doctor if you are not producing enough breast milk, even after trying to increase it with a breast pump.