When it comes to breastfeeding, everyone has an opinion. Some people think it’s the natural way to feed your baby, others think it’s gross. Regardless of what others think, many moms choose to breastfeed. It’s not always easy and can be quite challenging at times. But with some helpful tips and tricks from other moms who have been there before, you won’t feel so alone on this breastfeeding journey. Here are some tips to help you handle lactation with style.
1. Keep a stash of nursing essentials in your bag at all times
When you’re out and about with your baby, you never know what breastfeeding emergency might arise. You could be out shopping, out to eat, or even at work when your baby decides they need to eat — right now! If you haven’t prepared in advance, you might be in a real bind. That’s why it’s important to keep a stash of nursing essentials in your purse or bag at all times. You should keep a few nursing pads in your bag so you can catch any leaks that might happen. And a few bottles of water or sips of water will help increase your supply and fend off any clogged ducts that you might experience.
2. Schedule time to relax and recharge every week
Breastfeeding is a huge physical and emotional commitment. It can definitely be exhausting. If you don’t give yourself some time to relax each week, you might burn out entirely before your baby is even ready to wean. Not only will taking time out for yourself give you the chance to recharge, but it’ll also help you to feel more confident in your breastfeeding abilities. If you feel like breastfeeding isn’t going well, take a break from it. You don’t want to be stressing about breastfeeding on top of everything else that you have going on. Taking time out every week will help you come back refreshed and ready to tackle breastfeeding again.
3. Find positions that are most comfortable for you
Some breastfeeding moms are comfortable pumping. Others are not. There are tons of different breastfeeding positions out there. Some moms prefer the laid-back breastfeeding position while others like to sit up while they feed their baby. Some moms prefer to feed their baby in a side-lying position or maybe even seated up in a chair. Whatever position you choose, make sure that it’s one that’s comfortable for you. If you’re feeling stressed out or uncomfortable while breastfeeding, your baby will sense that and it might make them fussy too.
4. Try different positions on your own
If you’re breastfeeding and you’re struggling with finding a comfortable position, don’t be afraid to try a few different ones on your own. It may seem silly, but it’s important to try different breastfeeding positions so that you can figure out which one is most comfortable for you and your baby. You might begin to feel more competent and in control of your breastfeeding experience. If you’re having trouble finding a comfortable position with your baby, ask a lactation consultant to come over and help you out.
5. Ask for help if you’re struggling to latch
If you have an abundance of milk and your baby is having a hard time latching, you may have oversupply issues. If you feel like you’re having trouble getting your baby to latch, don’t hesitate to ask for help. If your baby is having a hard time latching, you could be dealing with an oversupply of milk issue. If you have an excessive amount of milk, you may be causing pain for your baby when they latch. Your baby may be having a hard time getting a good breastfeeding latch and they may be experiencing pain when they try to feed. If this is the case, you’ll want to talk to your doctor or lactation consultant to see if you need to do anything to curb milk production.
6. Use a lactation aid if you have pain or clogged ducts
If you have pain or clogged ducts, you might want to use a lactation aid. A lactation aid is a little suction device that you can use to help unplug your milk ducts and help to release some of the pressure that you might be experiencing. If you’re experiencing pain or clogged ducts, try using a lactation aid. Using a lactation aid can also be an effective way to calm a fussy baby who’s in pain. Babies are sensitive to their mom’s discomfort and stress, so a little suction device can definitely help to ease the pain and help your baby feel more relaxed.
7. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day
You may have heard that breastfeeding moms should be drinking lots of water. This is important because your breast milk is made up of about 90% water. If you’re dehydrated, your milk supply could suffer. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to stay hydrated. This is especially important for moms with an oversupply. If your breasts are producing too much milk, drinking plenty of water can help to keep your supply in check and can also help with any clogged ducts that you might experience.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant or doctor
If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, ask for help. Maybe you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to be working. Or maybe you’re just having a really bad day and you feel overwhelmed. If you feel like you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. One way to get help if you’re having a hard time breastfeeding is to talk with a lactation consultant. Lactation consultants are not only helpful, but they’re also completely free. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has a list of LCs in your area.
9. Find support from other breastfeeding moms
If you’re struggling with breastfeeding or are feeling totally overwhelmed, get in touch with other breastfeeding moms in your area. There are tons of online support groups as well as in-person groups. These groups can be a great source of support when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. If you’re feeling alone, getting in touch with moms who are going through the same thing as you can be a great source of support.
Breastfeeding is not easy. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s from a lactation consultant, a friend, or an online support group, there are plenty of people who want to help. Above all, remember that breastfeeding is about your baby and their health. It is not about you. If breastfeeding is causing you undue stress, do not feel guilty about switching to formula. You must first and foremost do what is best for you and your baby.