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Thursday, November 1, 2018

10 Breastfeeding Tips

1. Don't stress. I know it's hard! But being nervous about it only makes it harder! Relax. Find the comfiest spot on the couch and declare it yours.

2. Tell your family they are only allowed to say positive things about breastfeeding. It will be hard. You will cry. But if your husband's over there saying, "why don't you just give them formula?" he isn't helping your journey!

3. If you get a clogged duct, immediately start working on fixing it! A warm compress and extra nursing are the two things that helped me. Take a hot shower and massage your breast. But remember, your baby is the best fixer! He will do a much better job than your pump will. If you're at work, go home sick! Seriously. You need to get that duct taken care of before it gets infected and you get mastitis! Go get your baby and just lay in bed all day nursing until your booby is better.

4. Ask your pediatrician or the nurses if you can nurse in front of them at one of the many newborn doctor appointments you'll go to. They'll either reassure you things are looking good or give you tips about making it better. They might even weigh baby before and after so you know how much milk they just drank.

5. If the latch isn't working, Google it. There are so many helpful articles about latching babies. HERE is a good one. You might even be able to find videos. Remember, it's just a nipple! Don't be shy about watching someone else showing you how to get a good latch. One thing that really helped me was the "Breast Sandwich" where you kind of flatten out your boob so it's easier/smaller for baby to latch on to. Both of my boys struggled with latching, so I know how hard it is!

6. Last resort: nipple shield! I know there are differing opinions about this one, but I used one with my first son for the first 7 weeks and I can honestly say that I'm unsure we would have been so successful at nursing if it wasn't for that darn shield. We had a love/hate relationship, but in the end, it was what worked best for us.

7. Newborns can be super tired. You might have to force them to wake up to eat. Tickle their feet. Nearly yell at them. Hold them up like baby Simba. Take all their clothes off. Blow on them. Seriously. Newborns can sleep through anything and if they're not gaining enough weight, you might just have to force them into waking up for the boob.

8. Healthy eating helps your milk supply. Oats, nuts, seeds. It's good for you and it's even better for your milk.

9. Learn to nurse in the side-lying position. It will make nighttime feedings suck less.

10. Let your nipples "air out." Apply some breast milk or balm and just let them be bare for awhile. In the midst of the early breastfeeding journey, even t-shirt fabric feels like sandpaper. Letting them be free can be a bit of a comfort.

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