The Ultimate Breastfeeding Tips for First-Time Mothers
Are you a new mom and want to know about breastfeeding tips for first-time mothers?
Then I’ve got you covered! So stick around till the end of this post because I will be sharing helpful breastfeeding tips for first-time mothers.
In this article, you will learn the following:
- The 10 breastfeeding tips for first-time mothers.
- How to get your baby to latch on correctly.
- What causes poor latch, and what to do about it.
Breastfeeding for the first time is an adventure! New mothers hear that “breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world” and that it is the best way to give your baby the nourishment to make him grow healthy.
On the other hand, for women who become mothers for the first time, breastfeeding may seem more of a skill to acquire.
New mothers often worry because they don’t know if they are breastfeeding “the right way” or if their experience is “normal”.
For new moms, breastfeeding can be a quest if they do not have the right advice.
There are multiple doubts about how long to breastfeed the baby or if it is good to practice long breastfeeding or not.
On the other hand, there are doubts about how to breastfeed, because it is something that must be learned and it is not always an easy task.
But before you ask yourself questions about whether to extend breastfeeding for months or years, you must learn how to start.
So here are 10 breastfeeding tips for first-time mothers that will help you approach breastfeeding with fewer doubts and with more confidence.
10 Breastfeeding Tips for First-Time Mothers
1- There is no particular position for breastfeeding
Magazines have a tendency to show breastfeeding moms while holding their baby at chest height in a somewhat lateral position.
The truth is that there is no particular position to breastfeed, indeed! Others warn that their breasts react better when the baby feeds from a certain angle.
Every child and every mom is different, so get ready to learn together. There are no “rules” for finding a position that works for you two.
There are many positions that you can adopt to breastfeed your baby. There are also many positions in which you can put the child to latch on well to the breast and have no pain while breastfeeding.
You must be comfortable because you will spend many hours a day feeding your child.
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2- It’s okay to ask for help
Many women say they regret not asking for advice first. You must remember that you are not alone!
If there is something that doesn’t seem right to you, or if you have any concerns about your breastfeeding experience, talk to a professional, such as a midwife or a breastfeeding consultant.
Breastfeeding consultants are certified professionals specialized in helping women succeed in the breastfeeding experience.
The site of the International Lactation Consultant Association has a search tool with which you can find the breastfeeding consultant closest to you.
Your doctor or midwife can also be a valuable source of information. Just remember that – even if you are experiencing challenges with breastfeeding – it’s not your fault.
Most of the time, the challenges of breastfeeding are related to the baby and not to the mother’s milk production or the breastfeeding technique used.
If you want to ask for help without leaving at the comfort of your home, I recommend enrolling in an online breastfeeding class provided by a certified lactation consultant.
I recommend this popular breastfeeding class: Milkology by Stacey. Milkology is a simple step-by-step program that covers everything you need to know about breastfeeding as a first-time mother.
3- There are ways to deal with excessive milk production
Mothers who breastfeed and produce too much milk often think that there is nothing to do. Or, they believe that “more is better”.
After all, isn’t it a good thing to make a lot of milk?
The truth is that if too much milk is produced there can be problems. If you have an overproduction of milk, you may be at risk of breast engorgement, plugged ducts, or mastitis.
At the beginning of breastfeeding, the body knows that the baby is born but does not know how hungry he is.
This is why many mothers initially have a slight overproduction of milk.
Over time, milk production will adjust to the needs of the baby.
If, after two months from the beginning of breastfeeding, a mother still has a large overproduction of milk, she should consult a professional who specializes in breastfeeding.
Related Post: 10 Common Breastfeeding Problems and How to Fix Them
4- Choose a quality breast pump
If the breast pump will be part of your breast milk nutrition experience, keep in mind that you will need it to last a long time.
Depending on the number of children you have and the frequency of extraction, you may need the breast pump to last for two years or more.
As a result, many breastfeeding mothers look back saying “I would have done well to buy a better breast pump.”
Take the right time to choose the right breast pump for your lifestyle and your needs.
For example, if you need to get back to work, you may need a breast pump that is easy to transport and as quiet as possible.
If you use the breast pump frequently, you might consider buying one with a double extraction. If you travel a lot, you will certainly need a light breast pump to take with you.
Choosing the right breast pump not only makes it easier to maintain milk production. It also makes it easier to engage the partner in feeding.
In addition, it may help you keep moving while keeping breastfeeding.
What is the best breast pump to use?
Here are some of the most popular breast pump swear by many moms.
I found Spectra S1 to be the best because you can customize your pump’s settings to your own body’s response and follow your flow to find your own best settings with the S1’s completely adjustable suction and 2 phase cycling in let-down and expression mode.
5- At first, breastfeeding may not be comfortable
Some women are surprised to find that breastfeeding is sometimes not as simple as it might seem.
Many women would have liked to know that there is a settling period, during which the nipples get used to sucking the baby, which can sometimes be even a little aggressive.
If you know what to expect, it will be easier to overcome the initial challenges and help your baby to stick well to the nipple.
The good news is that your body will naturally adapt to breastfeeding over 2-3 weeks.
To help deal with the initial feeling of discomfort in the nipples, Purelan can be used after each feeding: hypoallergenic, Purelan helps soothe irritations, hydrate, and soften the nipples after breastfeeding.
Purelan is safe for the baby, and there is no need to wash the breast before the next extraction or breastfeeding session.
If you are still feeling nipple pain after the first 2-3 weeks, talk to a breastfeeding consultant or your doctor.
Perhaps you may need to pump milk for a while instead of breastfeeding the baby directly to allow the nipples to heal.
6- Breastfeeding can be challenging
Breastfeeding can be like a job that takes us 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, with feedings that vary in frequency and duration.
According to kidshealth.org:
“Newborn babies should breastfeed 8–12 times per day for about the first month. Breast milk is easily digested, so newborns are hungry often. Frequent feedings help stimulate your milk production during the first few weeks.”
Many mothers are amazed by the desire with which their baby wants breast milk.
7- Breast milk flow
One of the effects of breastfeeding is whipped milk – a powerful reflex that makes breast milk flow.
This important reflex helps you feed your baby, but it can also cause milk to leak from the breast, sometimes at inappropriate times.
The best way to deal with milk losses is to use breast pads. Worn under clothing, breast absorbing cups can protect your clothes from stains and odors caused by milk leaks.
Just remember to change them after each feeding or extraction session so that your breasts stay healthy.
Also, don’t be surprised if the milky whipping occurs when you hear another baby’s cry or even when you think about your baby.
It is part of the normal process. If the milky fit occurs at night, another good solution may be to wear a nursing bra.
This type of bra makes breastfeeding easier at night and will help you feel more comfortable.
8- You may be continually hungry
Many women are surprised because they feel hungry continuously during breastfeeding.
To satisfy your hunger, keep a small snack and a drink (in a thermos or a cup) close to your bed, so you will have something to eat on during the night feeding.
It is also very important to have a healthy diet while breastfeeding. Use this opportunity to strengthen yourself while your body is burning calories naturally.
If you want to learn more about a healthy breastfeeding diet, please take a look at this article: Everything You Need To Know About Healthy Breastfeeding Diet
9- Breastfeeding should be fun
People love talking about breastfeeding “challenges” so much that you forget that breastfeeding should be fun!
Many women would like someone to tell them that breastfeeding can be a pleasant experience once the right practice has been acquired.
Don’t feel as if breastfeeding puts limits on your life. Get out of the house now, enjoy nature, meet friends to renew your energy. Even while breastfeeding you can stay in touch with the world.
Once the right practice has been acquired, many mothers find it easy to send an email, check Facebook, read, write, knit, build handicrafts, talk on the phone, listen to music, sing or even dance with their baby!
10- Your baby knows what’s best
Babies are unable to do many things early in their lives, but instinctively they know a lot about breastfeeding.
After all, breastfeeding is what babies have done for millions of years and they are very good!
Many mothers are amazed at the instinct for breastfeeding that babies have: they know in a natural way how to find mom’s breast and breastfeed for the first time.
Let your child guide you. Even though it appears that he/she is eating “too much” or “too little”, your child is doing exactly what he needs to grow healthy and strong.
If you’re having trouble getting your baby to latch on correctly, then keep on reading.
How Do I Get My Baby to Latch On Correctly
Touch the baby’s lips with the nipple, wait until he opens his mouth wide, and then quickly pull him towards the breast with his mouth open. With that, the baby’s mouth is put over or on the breast.
Many mothers also move their upper body towards their baby and try to “put the breast in the middle of their mouth”, which often leads to an uncomfortable posture when breastfeeding and long-term tension in the shoulders.
Now I have picked out a YouTube video that you should watch if you have not yet found a way to put your baby on pain-free breastfeeding.
They show the asymmetrical application, in which the breast is not inserted centrally into the mouth with the nipple first.
Instead, the large breast is compressed parallel to the baby’s lips in the hand or between two fingers and the baby’s mouth is touched with the side of the breast facing him so that the nipple points towards the baby’s nose.
When the baby opens his mouth, he is brought up to the breast with his lower lip and the breast is rolled from the nose with his finger into his mouth or pushed in slightly.
Sounds complicated? But actually, it is very simple …
Check it out in this video.
Once you and your baby have found a comfortable position, you are ready to go.
If you are using the recumbent position, allow your baby to latch on when the baby is ready. If you are using a different position, you will have more grip control than your baby.
Follow these tips.
1. Hold your breast with one hand, keeping all the fingers securely grasping the breast below, where the bra wire falls.
2. Bring your baby very close. Tickle her upper lip with her nipple.
3. Wait until the baby opens his mouth wide, like a yawn.
4. Quickly bring the baby to the breast and nipple so that the chin touches the breast first and you can have a good bite of the nipple and breast.
5. If something hurts or feels wrong, your baby is probably not latching on properly. Use a finger to interrupt the baby’s suckling. Try to put him in position again. Do not give up. You and your baby can do it.
If you want to learn more about poor latch, then keep on reading.
What Causes Poor Latch
Not all newborns develop at the same time. Some babies need more time to be able to latch on.
Even if your baby doesn’t breastfeed right away, you can continue breastfeeding by expressing your milk.
Rest assured, your baby is not rejecting you. If he gets angry and pushes on the breast, it is because he is hungry and cannot suck on the breast.
Sometimes the baby may have difficulty because he:
– was born premature and had less effective suction;
– may have head pain after birth;
– has suction problems;
– has a short tongue brake (small membrane under the tongue that impairs its movement);
– prefer the bottle (if the bottle has already been used);
has a breast sensitivity after being forced to take it.
In other cases, it is the mother who has:
– flat or invaginated nipple ;
– the nipple comes out at rest, but shrinks when your baby tries to take it;
– a very firm or engorged breast.
Most of the time, a combination of difficulties explains why the baby cannot latch on. But sometimes we don’t really know why.
What to do?
Here are some tips:
- If your breasts are engorged, try to soften them. Breastfeed your baby before they are too hungry.
- If he seems to be too hungry, first give him a little of your milk with a spoon or cup (small glass) to calm him down.
- Try different positions, as some babies prefer some more than others.
- If your baby is angry, remove him for a few minutes from the breast until he calms.
Final Thoughts About Breastfeeding Tips for First-Time Mothers
Hey, momma! You learned the basics of breastfeeding tips for first-time mothers.
However, for any frustrating situations or if you’re having major issues about breastfeeding. It is the lactation consultant or your healthcare provider is the one who can best advise you.
Having a lactation consultant near you who observe and make recommendations can be helpful in any possible frustrating situation.
Do not forget to consult your lactation consultant for any type of doubt or problem related to breastfeeding.
I also recommend enrolling in an online breastfeeding class provided by a certified lactation consultant.
I highly recommend Milkology by Stacey. A Certified Lactation Consultant.
For your first-time breastfeeding, I recommend taking the Ultimate Breastfeeding Class first and when you are approaching breastfeeding and pumping transition, get The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class.
Breastfeeding Tips for First-Time Mothers Related Articles:
- 5 Practical Tips on How to Establish Breastfeeding Relationship
- What You Need to Know About Breastfeeding Diet
- How to Get on Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule
- Expressed Breast Milk Storage Guidelines and Tips
- How to Increase Breastmilk Supply Fast
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