Breastfeeding is a beautiful and unique experience, and we at Victorian Organics believe every mother should give it a try. It can connect you with your little one in the most special way, and there are so many health benefits that nursing provides for both you and your baby. Whether it’s your first time, you are looking for some extra tips for your next child, or you just want to understand what a breastfeeding friend is going through, read on to get our top 10 tips that every mother should know before breastfeeding.
You are doing the best thing for your baby
If you’re a healthy momma, breastfeeding is the ultimate way to ensure that your baby is getting the best nutrients possible. As much as some people like to think – Beastmilk simply can’t be out performed because it is naturally the best option. Formula is not a replacement and shouldn’t be considered a healthy alternative, but if you have trouble breastfeeding and have to use formula, make sure you choose an organic option and hold your baby close during feeding time with the same loving attention as if you were breastfeeding.
Start right away
The first few times that a mother breastfeeds are significant in a number of ways, as described by Baby Gaga – “Nursing in that first hour can release hormones that can help the mom’s uterus to contract and to help with bonding. It also stimulates the milk to come in, which can be a struggle for some moms. At the beginning, the milk is thicker and a golden color — it’s called colostrum and it provides the baby’s first immunities. Coming in that first hour, it can set the tone for a positive breastfeeding relationship.”
You will probably feel awkward at some point – but that’s okay
No matter how secure and confident you are in yourself, you will likely feel a little uncomfortable at some point while breastfeeding. Every mother who has breastfed her child has at some point received looks from people in public that have an opinion on the matter, or have been made to feel like a nursing mom needs to cover up more.
The bright side is that you’ll likely only experience criticism while breastfeeding once or twice, and you won’t care what other people think as time goes on. It’s your right to feed your child when they’re hungry and it’s totally acceptable to do so in public.
Comfort is key – because sometimes it can take a while
Finding a comfortable position for both you and your baby while feeding is very important to ensure your baby gets the right angle, your breasts are not being pulled in every direction and you are both relaxed enough. It may mean keeping enough cushioning on hand to use as support, using extra blankets for warmth or using a unique nursing pillow.
Check out these tips from Parents.com about how to position your baby during feeding time.
It can be painful and tough at times – but that’s normal
Breastfeeding is no simple milestone, and any mother that has done it will tell you so. In the beginning, it can be quite tricky to become comfortable at the process, and may even leave your nipples quite tender and sore. But don’t stress – it’s all part of the experience. You and your baby are on a little journey to figure out the best feeding routine that works for you, so trust the natural process and you’ll find your way to the most wonderfully close time spent together as mother and child.
Pediatricians will help you figure out how to latch your baby to your breast and will suggest multiple things to watch out for like – blocked milk ducts, reflux or mastitis.
Healthline suggests to look out for the below signs of reflux in your infant:
- Spitting up and vomiting
- Refusal to eat and difficulty eating or swallowing
- Irritability during feeding
- Wet burps or hiccups
- Failure to gain weight
- Abnormal arching
- Frequent coughing or recurrent pneumonia
- Gagging or choking
- Chest pain or heartburn
- Disturbed sleep
Supplementing is a good idea
As a new breastfeeding mom, sometimes you’re going to be tired, a bit moody and on edge, so it’s crucial to have a healthy diet, and get a healthy boost from supplements to make sure that you’re giving your baby the best possible nutrients in your precious milk. Just remember that whatever you take will filter through to your baby, so it’s best to stick to organic, GMO-free products.
Breastfeeding is good for mom too
We’ve talked about how good it is for a baby to be breastfed, but what about mom? According the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Mom’s that breastfeed are less likely to get breast and ovarian cancers than women that have not breastfed.
Nursing your baby can also help you get your body back in shape on the outside and inside, as it can promote the contraction of your uterus and burn around 300 to 500 calories a day. Of course, your doctor will tell you that you need to consume more calories if you’re breastfeeding, but the type of food you eat whilst nursing has the BIGGEST influence on how quickly your body moves back to its natural shape.
Breastfeeding can be dehydrating for moms
You are going to be pumping out a significant amount of fluids, so you will want to really increase your water consumption whilst breastfeeding. Plus, you want your body and glands to be nice and supple while you’re moving through the nursing stage. Dry skin can cause your nipples to become easily irritated and crack (ouch!), so make sure you have a water bottle with you at all times to stay hydrated, and some organic nipple cream too.
Pump milk so you get a break
It may feel strange and a little funny at first, but you will likely become engorged with milk at some point while breastfeeding, so it is a good idea to relieve some of the pressure by pumping excess milk and refrigerating or freezing it. You will be very grateful for a break from time to time, while your partner takes on the midnight feeding, if you need a quick power nap, or if you have to go back to work outside of your home.
There is no “right time” to quit breastfeeding
There is a bunch of controversial information and opinions on this topic and the bottom line is – it is up to you when you stop breastfeeding your child. Some women have nursed until their kid was well out of diapers, others longer than that, and some have stopped early because baby or mom just wanted to stop.
Breastfeeding is an amazing experience and all women have the right to feel how they feel about it, and choose what works best for them. Trust the natural process and enjoy the incredible journey!
We want the best quality of life for all mothers and babies, so if you have any brilliant motherhood advice or resources, please get in touch or comment below.