Five Tips for Women Struggling with Breastfeeding
For women who choose to breastfeed, it often seems like it will be a simple, natural process. However, breastfeeding can be much more challenging than many women think. Here are five tips you can keep in mind to make breastfeeding an easier experience.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Before the baby was born, you likely read a lot about breastfeeding and how to do it correctly. However, actually doing it can be harder than it seems. You should breastfeed your baby within an hour of delivery, so make sure that you ask for help during that time. The nurses can offer tips and help you position your baby so he or she is correctly latching on. They can also answer any questions that might arise during the process itself.
Allow your baby to determine the routine. Within the first few weeks, your baby will likely breastfeed every two to three hours. Look for signs of hunger like restlessness, sucking motions, and lip movements. Allow him or her to nurse from one breast until it feels soft and try burping. You can then try the other breast and see whether or not your baby is still hungry by if he tries to latch on.
Skip the pacifier. Pacifiers are often provided to babies to calm them down, because babies are happy when they have something to suck on. However, if you give him a pacifier too soon, it could cause issues for breastfeeding. Wait to bring a pacifier into the picture once the breastfeeding routine has been established. This will also help make sure that your baby will gain the necessary weight by feeding properly.
Keep it as natural as possible. At least within the first month, try to breastfeed without using a bottle. This helps you to develop a strong breast bond with your baby and will prevent him or her from feeling any kind of confusion between the different textures of your natural nipple and a bottle.
Be patient. For many women, breastfeeding is much more difficult than they expected and it can become frustrating. Instead of getting discouraged, try to be patient. Feeding your baby more often might feel exhausting, but remember that it will also lead to more milk production in your breasts. It is natural to have a slow start, so give it time to develop. If you have additional questions about breastfeeding, Baptist has certified lactation consultants who can help answer your questions.
Do you have any breastfeeding tips that worked for you? Share them in our comments section below.