Tips adapted from 13 Breastfeeding Tips Straight from a Lactation Consultant, with tips shared by Leigh Anne O’Connor, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
There’s so much information floating out there on breastfeeding, that we rounded up the top tips that have been shared by a lactation consultant, that are most useful and universal to breastfeeding moms.
Make sure you’re comfortable
The best feed happens when you and your baby are comfortable. Rather than worrying about the ‘best’ position, it’s more useful to find the most comfortable position instead. O’Connor says “The best nursing position for a mom is one where she is comfortable, not hunched over, and her baby is super close. We are all different sizes and shapes, so there is no one size fits all.”
Tummy to tummy works well
That said, the most common and recommended position is the one where your tummy is in contact with baby’s tummy. This is a position where baby can breathe well and easily suckle milk from your breast.
Use a cold and damp washcloth to wake baby up
Snoozing through meal times? If your baby is sleeping through his or her meals, use a damp washcloth gently on baby’s neck to stimulate them into wakefulness.
Empty your breast if meal is missed
Not emptying your breast can lead to painful engorgement and a lowered supply. So even if baby misses their meal, make sure you express the milk by hand or by pumping it out.
Make sure baby’s mouth is opened wide
A good latch is important for successful breastfeeding, so make sure that your baby is close and their mouth is wide open right from the start. This helps them to latch on well and will go a long way in preventing sore and chapped nipples.
Don’t let baby hang from your breast
Another way to prevent sore nipples will be to avoid letting your baby hang from your breast, especially when using a breastfeeding pillow. This happens when your baby lays on the pillow and hangs from the breast, tugging on the breast and causing sore nipples.
The more you nurse, the more milk you’ll have
The more often your baby feeds, the more milk you’ll produce. If your baby is a good nurser, the only way to keep milk supply up would be to keep it going!
Consider a hospital grade breast pump
Not all pumps are made the same – consider investing in a good quality breast pump to make the pumping process seamless and fuss free for yourself.
Wear a good nursing bra
An uncomfortable and badly designed bra can lead to mastitis and blocked ducts. Avoid wearing one to bed and wear nursing bras that have no underwires. A good bra should give support without constricting or pressing down on your breasts.
Don’t time feedings
Keep your milk flowing for as long as your baby wants to feed – don’t try to limit it as it may lead to engorgement.
There’s no time limit on how long babies feed
Babies have tiny stomachs when they are born, and they need a lot of small feedings as opposed to a few large ones. Allow them to suckle for as long as they need to.
Above all, trust your instincts and your own decisions as a mother. You can do it!