Being a new mother is the most incredible thing! You have this beautiful baby who you love more than anything. You want to give this baby the absolute best! So what is the absolute best? 81.1% of new mommies in the United States want to breastfeed their babies and end up quitting in the first 6 months. Why is that? Only 51.8% of mommies are breastfeeding to their babies 6 month mark, and less than 30% of babies receive breast milk to their first birthday.
The top 2 reasonings for mommies quitting are; the pain and reduced milk supply. You will have pain throughout your breastfeeding experience. Whether it’s from your first few weeks where your nipples are cracked, sore, and may even be bleeding. To the point in time where your little ones get their little chompers and think your nipple is a chew toy! (I know from experience) Reduced milk supply is a mommies worst nightmare! You have the perfect plan and you feel as if your body went in the complete opposite direction! No need to fear because I am here with 7 tips to be an successful breastfeeding mommy!
- Be patient! I know what you’re saying; I came here for tips not this! Of course you are not wanting to be patient. How could you? You just had a newborn baby, you need to get this breastfeeding thing going ASAP! The key to everything though is to be patient and realize it’ll come when it comes. Assuming you’re a first time mommy your body is still adapting to the hormonal change it just went through. Your breasts have never had this task before and are preparing for a very big job! The first couple days are always hard but your supply should be in by the 7 day mark. You can do it!
- Accept the pain! Unlike most articles, I will be straightforward with you. The first couple days will be hard. Very hard. You will want the pain to just be over and get this tiny sucker off of you! Then the 7 day mark will come and you won’t even notice this little guy ( or girl) is there.
- Pain Management! From personal experience sometimes “ accepting the pain” doesn’t help AT ALL. The mind over matter thing doesn’t even come to mind because of how exhausted you are! So for nipple pain make sure you rub a baby friendly cream to soothe the pain. Some creams even numb your nipples and are safe for your little ones! For full engorged breasts either; place a warm cloth over them and massage, self express, frozen cabbage leaves ( be careful this is known for drying up milk if on the breasts for too long!), use a breast pump, make sure baby empties each breast while feeding. My personal favorite Tylenol! I know you thought you had escaped this not-really-kinda-helpful medicine but sadly you are mistaken. Everything goes to your baby remember that!
- Having the baby maintain a good latch. Quite frankly this is one of the key points to have a successful breastfeeding experience. This will save you a lot of pain and tears. A bad latch is one of the common reasons for pain while breastfeeding. To confirm your baby has a good latch you will see the following; tongue is seen when the bottom lip is pulled down, you will can hear them swallowing, the baby’s head is slightly tilted back, the baby’s lips are flanged out making them look like a fish.
- Being comfortable! Most commonly you can be breastfeeding from 15-30 minutes so it is important you find a comfortable spot and position. One of the best things is called a boppy pillow. It helps support your little one so your hands are free to do what you please. ( If you’re anything like me you will probably be on your phone! haha) Being comfortable equals happy mommy and happy baby.
- Increasing milk supply! This one’s a biggie! Maintaining your milk supply is one the most important things to be successful. I highly recommend Mother’s Milk tea which you can get at any local store. I have personal experience with this product and it made my supply skyrocket! Keeping hydrated and eating 3 meals a day is so crucial to your milk supply! I used to make myself eat (generally you lose your appetite for a couple weeks) and for one I wasn’t so cranky and I saw the true effect it had on my supply. Staying consistent with breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding ( if possible) will tremendously help because it’s training your body to make more milk for your baby. If possible avoid bottles and pacifiers because it can cause nipple confusion and also tell your body no more milk is necessary. Use a breast pump in between feeds to trick your body into making more milk.
- Enjoy!!!!Honestly nothing beats having that bond with your baby while you breastfeed them. You get this warm feeling knowing your baby needs you to survive and to be okay. You will be their comfort and their safety blanket. Enjoy every second of it because one day you’ll wake up and they don’t need you the same way. You can do this mama. You can push through and give your child the best they need !!
Do you have any other tips?