Welcoming and nurturing the babies gives immense joy to parents. They love to hold their little ones in their arms, kiss their soft, delicate skin, and stay close to them.
Parents have to prepare before the arrival of the babies. They prepare the nursery, buy proper furniture pieces, shop for appropriate clothes, and buy numerous toys for their tiny angels. Shopping for babies is pretty expensive, and parents do not refrain from purchasing the best of everything for their precious little gems.
The parents' goal is to ensure that their child gets the best of everything: clothes, bed, school, teachers, toys, and even food. We are sure that you, too, want nothing but the best for your child. If your baby hasn’t arrived, we are confident that you must’ve taken care of all the essential baby items. However, for the food, nature has taken care of it since the beginning of the pregnancy.
You don’t have to worry about buying or preparing the baby’s food. Nature enables the mother to feed her child from her body. The best part about breastfeeding is that the milk is packed with nutrients necessary for your baby’s physical and mental growth. Breastfeeding is free; you don’t have to purchase it. Moreover, you can feed your baby anytime and anywhere—no need to heat the water and add formula to prepare your baby’s meal.
If you have decided to take the road of breastfeeding your child and are clueless about doing it effectively, don’t worry.
In today’s article, we have gathered top tips for new moms which will help them unveil the secrets for breastfeeding success.
Top 15 Tips For The First Time Breastfeeding Mom
1. Attend Breastfeeding Classes
New mothers often worry about how they will breastfeed and handle their babies. They also get anxious about feeding their babies properly. Mothers have thousands of questions in their mind and want a proper answer to each. Taking breastfeeding class equips mothers with all the necessary knowledge to cater to their child’s needs.
Lookup for breastfeeding classes available in your area. If you are unable to locate one, contact a hospital or community center in your vicinity. Healthcare providers will help you find the classes or arrange a one-on-one program with an experienced lactation expert.
If you do not want to take the classes, take help from your nursing friend. Ask her all the questions and concerns that you have. Apart from answering your queries, she might even share some top tips for new moms to help you take care of the baby.
2. Purchase The Right Nursing Supplies
Having the right nursing supplies can help you to breastfeed your child comfortably. Consider purchasing the following items for breastfeeding:
i. Nursing Clothes
Breastfeeding your baby would be a challenging task in a summer dress or a jumpsuit. It will become difficult for you to remove your clothing to feed your child. Therefore, before the arrival of the baby, buy nursing clothes. You will have to unbutton or unzip your dress from the top to feed your baby without showing any skin.
Also, buy proper nursing brassieres. They are stretchy and can be easily removed without having to undo any clips or straps.
ii. Breast Pads
Leaking is expected in the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Do not panic; it is entirely okay. There are numerous reasons for leaking. The most common reason it happens is when your baby hasn’t nursed, and breasts become heavy.
To prevent the leaking from spoiling your clothes, use nursing pads. Do not use plastic liners. It will irritate your skin. If you run out of nursing pads, place an absorbent cloth in your brassiere for absorbing the leak.
iii. Nursing Pillow
Your baby might take 5 minutes to feed or 45 minutes. Use a nursing pillow to stay comfortable while you breastfeed your baby.
3. Discuss Your Plans With Healthcare Provider
Before the delivery, let your doctor know that you intend to breastfeed your baby. Your doctor will make sure to equip you with the proper knowledge to breastfeed your baby correctly and comfortably.
It will also help your healthcare provider to include your wish to breastfeed your baby in the birth plan. Moreover, they will help you to breastfeed your baby right after the birth.
In case of any illness, your doctor will also recommend to you the medication that will be safe for you to take while you nurse your baby and won’t affect your baby in any way. If you are taking any supplements or medicines, our doctor might change it or make you discontinue it after hearing your plans about breastfeeding your baby.
4. Breastfeed Right After Birth
Do not wait to breastfeed the baby when he is hungry after his birth. Feed him within the first hour of his birth.
For the first few days, a new mother’s body will produce milk that will be thick in consistency and yellowish. It is called colostrum and is not less than a liquid gold for the baby. It is packed with protein, vitamins, and antibodies strengthening the baby’s immunity and promoting physical and cognitive development.
It will also help you bond with your newborn right after they arrive in this world.
5. Look For Cues
Many new moms make the mistake of feeding their babies when they cry. A crying baby doesn’t mean a hungry baby. The only language familiar to babies is crying. They bring the attention of their caregivers to themselves by crying at the top of their voices.
Before you latch on your baby, make sure that he is crying because he is hungry. A baby also cries when his diaper is wet, his temperature is higher or lower than usual, or if he is sleepy.
Your baby will give you the following cues when he is hungry:
- He will raise or turn his head repeatedly.
- Open and close his mouth.
- Stick out his tongue.
- Try to suck on everything that is within his reach.
6. Get Comfortable While Nursing
It is imperative to be in a comfortable position while breastfeeding your baby. If you are not sitting comfortably, you will soon get tired, and your muscles will also be stressed. Some mothers also develop back and shoulder aches after feeding their babies for prolonged hours.
If you continuously move to make yourself comfortable, your baby will be disturbed and become irritable. Therefore, it is necessary for you to be comfortable throughout the process.
You can lie on your side to breastfeed your baby, or you can sit in a reclined position if you are holding the baby in your arms while breastfeeding. Keep soft pillows or cushions to support your back and arms to relax your back and muscles.
Make comfort your priority, as it is one of the secrets for breastfeeding success.
7. Look For Privacy
Even babies like to enjoy their meals in a calm and relaxing environment. If the room is constantly buzzing, the baby will turn his head to see what’s going on in their surroundings. It will make the baby irritable or distract him from feeding.
Try to nurse your baby in a relaxing environment. Breastfeeding is the perfect time to bond with your baby. Your baby’s skin touches yours, you can feel his tiny hands and feet, and he becomes familiar with your touch, scent, and warmth. These things help the baby to recognize you and form an unbreakable bond with you.
Keep all your focus on your baby when he is feeding. If the room is noisy or not comfortable, go to another room where you can comfortably feed him.
8. Breastfeed From Both Breast
Do not feed your baby from one breast. If your baby feeds from one side only, the other breast will become heavy and cause discomfort.
Remember which side you used for breastfeeding your baby so that you can use the other side to nurse him. If you forget which side your baby fed on, put a safety pin on that side of your shirt. For example, if your baby has nursed from your right breast, attach a clip, or pin on the shirt's right sleeve. It will help you to remember which breast to use in the next session.
If your baby only nurses from one side and refuses to accept the milk from the other side, use a breast pump to express the excess milk and ease the pressure and discomfort. Do not waste the milk. You can prepare a milk bath for your baby.
9. Ease The Pain Of Engorgement
Engorgement is a painful condition that results from swollen blood vessels and overfills the duct with milk. It happens when a baby is not breastfed frequently. The milk makes breasts heavier and overfills them and the ducts.
Breastfeed your baby when he is hungry, and let him feed till his hunger is satiated. Also, as mentioned earlier, feed your baby from both breasts. It will drain the excess milk and relieve the pressure that builds up.
If you encounter engorgement, then express your milk using a clean breast pump before you nurse the baby. Take a warm shower and massage your breasts. The warmth helps the milk to flow easily. You can also use a cold compress to relieve the burning sensation or irritation in your breasts.
10. Treat Mastitis At Your Earliest
Mastitis is a condition where the milk duct gets clogged and develops an infection. This condition is often accompanied by fever, cold, swollen and painful breasts. The temperature of the breast rises and feels hot when touched. One can easily feel the lump in the breast upon touching. Some ladies also report the formation of red streaks on their breasts’ skin.
If you feel any of the symptoms mentioned above, immediately contact your doctor and take the prescribed medicines. Do not leave the antibiotic course in between. Finish it as per the guidelines of your health provider.
To soothe the irritation and pain, apply heat to the lump, massage it gently, or take a nice warm bath to ease the discomfort. Breastfeed your baby with the breast that has mastitis. Your baby can help you to lighten the weight of your breasts. Your baby will not get infected or affected in any way.
11. Increase Your Milk Supply
There are numerous reasons responsible for the depletion in the milk supply of a mother. The main factor responsible for the less supply is the infrequent feeding to the baby. When the milk is not used frequently, the body doesn’t produce it in abundance.
A simple tip to increase your milk supply is to feed your baby frequently. If your baby is full or doesn’t want to feed, then use a breast pump after each nursing session to signal your body to increase the supply.
12. Maintain Proper Hygiene
Your baby’s skin will be in contact with you. Make sure that you keep yourself and your clothes neat. A baby’s immune system is weak and gets easily infected if germs or bacteria enter inside him.
Take a bath to wash off dirt, bacteria, sweat, or any other lotion or perfumes that you have on your body. Before picking your baby to breastfeed, wash your hands with an antibacterial soap, use a sanitizer if you are feeding your baby outside.
13. Eat Well-Balanced Meal
Consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Include protein in your every meal. Your body needs a lot of energy to produce breast milk. Hence, make sure you provide your body with enough energy to produce enough milk for your little one.
Talk to your doctor and take multivitamins to fuel your body with ample energy.
14. Stay Hydrated
As stated above, breastfeeding your baby consumes a lot of energy and makes the body dehydrated. Drink plenty of water and freshly squeezed juices to keep your body hydrated. Do not drink coffee, alcohol, or other beverages that contain caffeine. It can affect your baby’s health.
15. Buy A Nursing Cover
Breastfeeding your baby shouldn’t stop you from stepping out of your house, or going on a romantic date with your partner.
Don’t worry if you have to feed your baby in public. Use a nursing cover while feeding your baby to cover up your skin from showing.
Breastfeeding can become challenging at times, especially for the new moms. But, stay relaxed!
Do not let anxiety get the best of you.
Nobody becomes a pro in breastfeeding their babies in just one go. It takes time for you and your baby to get the hang of it.
We sincerely hope that the above-provided tips will help you to successfully breastfeed your child without compromising on yours or your baby’s comfort and health.
If you have any problem with the milk supply, or if you develop any infection in your milk ducts, immediately consult a lactation expert to treat it before it gets