One of the first, and probably most important, nurturing acts you’ll do as a new mother is feeding your baby. For many women, this will mean breastfeeding. Although breastfeeding is very natural, it may not feel that way at first. It’s common to worry about providing the proper nutrients for your baby and if you’ll even be able to breastfeed at all. Along with this stress and worry, most new mothers have a million questions about how it all works and how to breastfeed properly. Not to worry though – Mama Llama has rounded up all the best breastfeeding tips! Keep reading for 7 breastfeeding tips for new mothers.
Invest in a Breastfeeding Pillow
This one is at the top of our list, not only because Mama Llama offers a breastfeeding pillow, but also because we believe wholeheartedly in the power of a good feeding pillow. Before your baby comes, this is something we suggest making sure you have. If you’re in need one, of course we recommend checking out the Chase Pillow. Here’s why having a breastfeeding pillow is so important…
You’re going to be spending a significant amount of time each day holding your baby to your breast to feed. If you do this without support and with the wrong posture, you will feel pain and discomfort pretty quickly. This can lead to significant back, neck and arm pain and maybe even injury. This is why it’s important to invest in a breastfeeding pillow to ensure you’ll be comfortable and maintain the correct posture throughout feedings.
You’ll see other sites recommend sitting on your bed or couch and grabbing as many pillows as possible and positioning them at exactly the right angles for comfort. The problem with this method is that it’s going to take you forever to find the right position for yourself and the pillows. Also, when you’re using numerous pillows, they are bound to slip and slide around. Instead of having this hassle each time, we recommend going with the one-stop-shop pillow that makes finding the perfect level of comfort easy: The Chase Pillow by Mama Llama.
Anticipate Your Baby’s Needs
Instead of waiting for your baby to cry, start picking up on signs your baby is hungry and act on them accordingly. For example, when your baby is hungry they may:
- Turn and raise their head repeatedly
- Stick out their tongue
- Suck on whatever is in sight
- Open and close their mouth
If you see your baby making these moves, offer your breast for some feeding time. Your baby will be happy they don’t have to struggle to get your attention which will build intimacy and a deeper bond.
Let Your Baby Call the Shots
Believe it or not, your baby knows their needs more than you do. It is best to let them determine how often and how long to nurse for. Don’t set predetermined intervals – instead, feed them when they are ready to be fed. In addition, let your baby determine how long to nurse. Every baby is different, but one thing is for sure: they know how much they need better than you do at this point.
Although breastfeeding can seem like quite the chore and there is often stress/worry that comes along with it, try your best to relax as much as possible. If you are tense and nervous, your baby can sense this and may not latch on correctly. If you’re not relaxed, your baby won’t relax – simple as that.
Guide Your Baby to the Right Position
Over the course of breastfeeding, your baby will find the position that works best for them. You’ll want to pay attention to this position so that each time you can make it easier to get to quickly. Again, every baby is different, but here are a few general guidelines you can follow to find a position that works well for you and your baby:
- Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple with their head tilted back slightly
- Your baby shouldn’t have to turn their head much
- They should latch onto the entire areola, not just the nipple (if possible)
- Your baby’s chin should be right up against your breast in order for their nose to be clear
Be sure not to force positions though. Remember to let your baby guide you and the position will fall into place naturally.
The last thing you want to deal with as a new breastfeeding mother is engorgement. Engorgement is the painful swelling and hardening of your breasts when you produce more milk than your baby consumes. The best way to avoid this painful condition is to nurse your baby as much as possible. If engorgement persists, you can pump until your breasts soften and feel comfortable again.
Remember, Leaking is Normal
While breastfeeding, especially in the first few weeks, it’s common for milk to leak from your breasts. Remember, this is completely natural, so need to worry. This can happen for several reasons: you hear another baby cry, when your baby hasn’t nursed for a while, or even when you just think about your baby. This leaking will eventually stop occurring, but in the meantime, you can place a nursing pad in your bra to absorb the leaks.
There is no doubt breastfeeding can be difficult at times, especially when your baby is newly born. Utilizing Mama Llama’s 7 breastfeeding tips for new mothers though will help ease your worries and enjoy the time you have to breastfeed with your little one. If you follow these tips and ask for help if needed, we’re confident your baby and you will thrive during the breastfeeding phase! Happy feeding!