I’ll begin this blog with a statement that “Fed is Best”. I was successful in nursing 3 children, but with it came struggles, determination, luck, and help. My very first mistake was refusing the lactation consultant’s help upon delivery. My first baby had already latched, and I thought, “hey, this is easy.” Within hours, I was in pain from improper latching, and because I refused help I didn’t know what was wrong. I thought it was just a natural part of nursing to be chaffed and in pain. Although nursing can be uncomfortable at the beginning, you should not have to endure so much pain, as proper technique is so helpful, for you and baby! Having said that, even using proper technique, there are countless reasons nursing may prove difficult. Perhaps baby has a really tiny mouth, baby is tongue tied, baby is a premie, post partum depression, the intense schedule, not enough milk, and the list goes on. Not to be totally negative and start this on the wrong foot, but I want you to understand why some women don’t nurse, it’s not for us to judge. Although we are lead to believe that breast feeding is a must, mother nature is not perfect. My 101 year old grandmother tells me stories of how she fed several babies in the neighborhood whose mothers could not nurse! What is important is a healthy baby getting a food source, and a healthy mother, mentally, emotionally and physically. The newborn phase is beautiful and exhausting, and a mother must make her own decisions, without the pressures that she must nurse. I am not a doctor, but that is my opinion. This blog however is meant to help you be successful in nursing, and give you a head start! I’ve listed resources, product recommendations and more.
A little introduction to nursing.
A proper latch is essential to nurse, take the time to allow your lactation consultant to show you how to coax baby to open their mouth and attach to more than just the nipple. Here is a great resource to read .
Don’t get discouraged, reach out to your OBGYN to find a lactation consultant.
Hydration for mom is also very important when nursing. Drink lots of fluids to ensure that you don’t get dehydrated and can make milk for baby.
The following is a list of supplies that can help you be successful
2. A Nursing bra,
3. A large water bottle for yourself
4. Burp clothes,
5. Nipple cream (with or without lanolin),
6. Nipple shields ( multiple sizes available)
7. Lactation massager,
8. Milkies milk saver ( for let down on the opposite breast) or a Haakaa.
9. A hand pump or mechanical pump. Check with your insurance as they are fully covered.
All these supplies can be purchased at your local baby store, or online as well. A really awesome resource is Sunflower Motherhood’s nursing gift box which has several of these items and more
Let’s chat about milk production.
When a baby is first born, your breasts will not actually be producing milk yet. The fluid that comes out is called colostrum and has all the nutrients to nourish your baby for those first few days. After a few days you will notice your breasts swell and your milk will come in. You may feel engorged and uncomfortable, but within a few days this will subside. Some women choose to pump and feed baby to cue their body to make more milk. However, I think its best to see what your body does naturally. Some women produce a lot of milk after a few days, and pumping can cause more engorgement, so you would be producing milk for baby, plus extra to store.
There are so many more things to know about breastfeeding, I wish you a smooth experience, and hope this introduction helps empower your to feel more comfortable breastfeeding. Below I’ve listed some resources you may find helpful.
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