Riverview Professional Newborn & Maternity Photographer

So you’ve made the tough decision to breast feed your newborn. Congrats! It’s a tough, beautiful, and at times overwhelming journey. It’s harder for some than it is for others. Some people have way too much milk and some people struggle to provide enough for their precious little one. From cracked, sore nipples to pumping during breaks at work, to the bonding experience you get knowing you’re nourishing your baby from your own body.  Whatever your goals are for breastfeeding, you’ve got this! Here are some tips and tricks to help make breastfeeding smoother and more enjoyable:

1. **Get Comfortable**: Before you begin breastfeeding, find a comfortable position for both you and your baby. Use pillows or cushions to support your back, arms, and baby. There are several breastfeeding positions to choose from, such as the cradle, football hold, or side-lying positions. Experiment to find the one that works best for you.

2. **Ensure a Good Latch**: A proper latch is crucial for a successful breastfeeding experience. Make sure your baby’s mouth covers not only the nipple but also a good portion of the areola. Look for signs of a good latch, such as rounded cheeks, rhythmic sucking, and no clicking or smacking noises.

3. **Stay Hydrated and Eat Well**: Nursing can be physically demanding, so it's essential to stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and consume a variety of nutritious foods to support your energy levels and milk production.

4. **Feed on Demand**: Let your baby set the pace for feeding. Babies typically breastfeed every 1.5 to 3 hours, but this can vary. Follow your baby's hunger cues, such as rooting, sucking on hands, or fussiness. Feeding on demand helps establish a healthy milk supply and ensures your baby gets enough nourishment.

5. **Take Care of Your Nipples**: Sore or cracked nipples can make breastfeeding uncomfortable. To prevent issues, ensure a good latch and apply lanolin or breast milk to soothe your nipples. Change nursing pads frequently to keep the area clean and dry.

6. **Seek Support**: If you encounter challenges, don't hesitate to seek help. Lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, and other experienced mothers can provide valuable advice and encouragement. Many hospitals offer lactation support services as well.

7. **Pace Yourself**: Breastfeeding can be physically and emotionally taxing, especially in the beginning. Allow yourself time to rest and recover. If possible, ask for help with household chores or other responsibilities so you can focus on your baby.

8. **Know When to Ask for Help**: Sometimes breastfeeding challenges may require professional help. If you experience persistent pain, low milk supply, or difficulty with your baby's weight gain, seek guidance from a healthcare professional or lactation consultant.

9. **Use Breastfeeding Aids Wisely**: Nursing pillows, nipple shields, and breast pumps can be useful tools, but use them wisely. Talk to a lactation consultant before introducing any aids to ensure they won't interfere with your breastfeeding journey.

10. **Trust Your Instincts**: Every mother's breastfeeding journey is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Trust your instincts and do what feels right for you and your baby. If something doesn't seem to be working, seek advice and adjust as needed.

Remember, breastfeeding is a learning experience for both you and your baby. With patience, support, and persistence, you can overcome challenges and enjoy the special bond that breastfeeding creates.