Tips for Breastfeeding

Got a hungry baby coming home and unsure how to prepare? Follow some of these tips for breastfeeding to streamline the process.

Nursing your baby can be more difficult than you might think, so it can't hurt to pick up some tips for breastfeeding. You're a new parent, so you've got enough to be concerned about already, you shouldn't have to worry that your baby isn't getting enough breast milk on top of it all.

It couldn't hurt to learn some tricks, take some shortcuts, and save yourself some stress. Also, breastfeeding has many benefits for your baby. Breast milk is rich in nutrients, has antibodies, and help protect your baby from infections. Generally, breast fed babies have less issues with asthma and allergies, and are much less likely to become overweight somewhere down the road. 

The benefits don't stop with just your baby, breastfeeding is great for the mother—and her bank account—as well. Nursing your baby this way can help you lose weight faster after giving birth, as well as tighten the bond between you and your newborn. Women who breastfeed tend to have lower risks of type two diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease. Both mother and baby benefit from these useful tips for breastfeeding, so, read on to learn a bit more about the process. 

Make sure you do some prep.

Before you even give birth there are plenty of things you can do to ensure breastfeeding goes more smoothly—it'll help reduce breastfeeding woes. Doing some prenatal care will allow your baby to develop in the womb, and babies who are premature tend to have a more difficult time latching on and breastfeeding.

There are some good resources out there, like breastfeeding classes that help you grow more comfortable with the task before you. The more you know the less timid and more confident you will be when the time comes. Even if you feel okay about breastfeeding practice can only make you better and ease the process. 

Plan ahead and buy a few items you may need during the breastfeeding process. These can include a nipple shield, nursing pillow, nursing bra, and covers. Certain hospitals and insurance plans provide free breast pumps, so be sure to inquire about that. These are some of the more practical tips for breastfeeding 

Make sure your baby is latched on properly.

How do I know if my baby is latched on properly? It's a great question, but lucky for you it isn't all that too difficult. When the baby has a good latch, both of its lips should be pouted, and the areola should be covered in its entirety. Once latched, you should see your baby's jaws moving back and forth a bit, like it was grinding its teeth—if it had teeth. 

Be sure to clear your baby's nose so it can take in enough air while feeding. If it seems too painful, you might want to readjust and see if the little guy or gal is latched on properly. One of the best tips for breastfeeding is to be sure you, as the mother, is as comfortable as possible.

Make sure you hold your baby correctly.

There is no one way to hold your baby, but if you are after some tips for breastfeeding, we can discuss a few of the best positions. The football hold has you tucking your baby under your arm like you are running with a pigskin. The baby's head should be resting in your hand and it should be facing you. This is one of the more obvious tips for breastfeeding if you have a smallish baby. 

The cradle is another great hold, and it involves tucking your baby into the crook of your arm. You support the baby's back and bottom with your forearm. Make sure your baby's facing you and it has a good latch. Try the cross-cradle if your baby is a bit premature and has weak suction. Hold your baby with the opposite arm of the breast you are using and support its head with your palm and forearm. 

Make sure your baby is getting enough to eat.

One of the best tips for breastfeeding that many people don't realize is your baby can be fed as often as necessary. Be sure to learn the signs of hunger so you can better spot your baby's needs. Crying is a sign of hunger, but it's not wise to make a habit of always feeding into your baby's tantrums. If your baby seems excited or is focusing on your breasts, it could be in hunger or excitement, and wants to try and latch on. 

Right after birth your baby may need to eat up to twelve times a day, so be prepared . This will decrease over time (see when to stop breastfeeding), but you should be prepared to spend a lot of time feeding it. Try to have your baby nurse from both breasts during each feeding, it will help keep the milk ducts flowing. The baby will usually let go on its own once it's had enough to eat. 

Your milk ducts should empty after each feeding. If not, it can decrease your milk production and make it harder for your baby to latch, while also causing swelling and pain. 

Make sure you watch your health while breastfeeding.

This is one of the best tips for breastfeeding: take care of yourself! If you want to take care of your baby day in and day out, you can't burn yourself out. It's important to have a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep during the process. 

There are a plethora of foods and beverages out there you should not expose your baby to—obviously no booze! You should eat about 500 extra calories per day, and make sure you drink extra fluids, because your baby will be taking a lot out of you. Try to get plenty of calcium and avoid anything too spicy, and just be aware of what you're putting in your body while breastfeeding

Keep these tips for breastfeeding in mind and good luck with your new baby!

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Tips for Breastfeeding