What you need to know:
- Babies often give subtle cues when they are ready to eat, so try to learn to read your baby's body language.
- Common signs that a baby is ready to breastfeed include sucking on their fists or lips, turning their head towards your chest, and making rooting motions with their mouth.
You have just had a baby and are now responsible for another human life. What could be more important than ensuring your child has the best possible start in life? One of the most important things you can do for your child is to breastfeed them. Here are six tips to make breastfeeding easier for you.
First, get comfortable
You and your baby will be spending a lot of time nursing, so make sure you have a comfortable place to do it. A rocking chair or glider with a footstool is ideal, but any comfortable spot will do. Put a pillow behind your back and one under your baby's head to support them. If you are using a breast pump, ensure you have everything you need within reach to relax and focus on pumping.
Learn your baby's cues
Breastfeeding can be challenging for new mothers who may not be sure when their baby is hungry. Fortunately, a few tips can help make the process easier.
Babies often give subtle cues when they are ready to eat, so try to learn to read your baby's body language.
Common signs that a baby is ready to breastfeed include sucking on their fists or lips, turning their head towards your chest, and making rooting motions with their mouth.
If you notice these cues, offer your breast and see if your baby starts to latch on.
Get plenty of rest and eat healthy foods
In order to produce enough milk for your baby, it's important to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy diet.
When you're sleep-deprived, your body doesn't have the energy it needs to produce milk. Eating a well-balanced diet will help ensure that your body has the nutrients it needs to support lactation.
In addition, drinking plenty of fluids is beneficial.
Develop a good latch
One of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful breastfeeding experience is to develop a good latch.
A proper latch allows your baby to effectively transfer milk from your breast and prevent soreness or pain.
The best way to achieve a good latch is to position your baby so that their mouth is level with your nipple.
You can hold your baby close to your body and gently guide its head towards your breast. When they open their mouth wide, place your nipple inside and wait for them to latch on.
You can use a nursing pillow to support your baby and help them stay in position.
Burp your baby after each feeding
Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your baby. Breast milk is packed with nutrients and antibodies that protect your little one from illness.
Burping helps to release any air that your baby might have swallowed during feeding, and it can also help to prevent spit-up.
To burp your baby, simply hold them upright against your chest and pat their back gently until they let out a burp. Then, you can finish up the feeding or put your baby down for a nap.
Delay use of pacifiers
While it's tempting to give your baby a pacifier to soothe them, it's best to wait until they are at least four weeks old before using one.
It's natural for babies to want to suck on something, and pacifiers can provide them with the comfort they crave. However, pacifiers can cause negative dependence.
Additionally, pacifiers are likely to cause dental damage.
By delaying using a pacifier, you give yourself and your baby time to adjust to breastfeeding and ensure that baby gets all the nutrition they need.
Ensure your breasts are not engorged
Engorgement is when your breasts become overly full of milk, which can be painful. When your breasts are engorged, it can make it difficult for the baby to latch on properly. Additionally, engorgement can lead to mastitis, a painful condition that causes inflammation in the breast tissue.
To avoid engorgement, nurse your baby frequently and express milk when you are away from them.