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Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

Even if you have support from other breastfeeding mothers, breastfeeding your baby as a new mom can be somewhat challenging. You have to know so many things about breastfeeding that it can seem more like a science than a natural phenomenon. However, the following tips will greatly help you and your baby enjoy breastfeeding and the benefits you receive from it.

  1. 1. Feed your baby as soon after birth as possible. Itís much better for the first thing that goes in your babyís mouth to be your breast, rather than their thumb. This will make teaching them to latch on much easier.
  2. 2. Talk to a lactation consultant before you leave the hospital. In fact, you should arrange for this before you have your baby in preparation for the birth, so that if the hospital doesnít have one you can hire one to come speak with you. You can also get one to visit you for free from the La Leche League. These individuals will be able to answer your questions and help you with latch on, positioning and other techniques to make breastfeeding a success.
  3. 3. Donít give up if you have a hard time at first. Get advice from everywhere you can, including other mothers, books, websites, doctors or even the La Leche League. It takes about two weeks for you and your baby to become naturals at breastfeeding, so donít worry if things donít start off well. Donít give up, get help!
  4. 4. If problems with latching on still persist after all of that help, you might want to try a nipple shield. This will greatly assist in getting the baby to latch on properly, but it can be a difficult habit to break, so use it only as a last resort. They arenít generally recommended, so youíll probably have to ask a nurse or lactation consultant for it if you really need it.
  5. 5. Lanolin cream is your best friend! Without it your nipples will quickly become chapped, dry and cracked, making breastfeeding extremely painful and nearly impossible. Use it every single time you breastfeed until you get used to it and then you can try tapering off. Youíll probably need it again, however, when your baby starts teething.
  6. 6. Itís vitally important that you drink lots of water while youíre breastfeeding. Your milk will come in better the more fluids you take in, which will benefit you and your baby. Youíll also ensure your own health, as breastfeeding can be very dehydrating. Itís important that you remain healthy, strong and active during these busy months of motherhood!
  7. 7. Make sure you have something comfortable to sleep in that can hold your heavy breasts, as well as some nursing pads. As your milk comes in, you might leak and you donít want to leak all over your bed! Investing in nursing clothing isnít a bad idea either, so that you can easily nurse in public without being nervous about exposing yourself. Youíll also find that youíre better able to nurse at home with these supportive garments.
  8. 8. Keep a feeding record showing feedings, as well as how many wet and dirty diapers your baby has throughout the day. This will help ensure that heís getting enough to eat through breastfeeding.

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