I have heard many new mothers say that breastfeeding has changed their life, that it has created an unbreakable bond between them and their child.
Isn’t it a wonderful testimony to how resourceful nature is that women come equipped not only to give birth, but also to feed and nourish their child through their most vulnerable years?
Now, while I know many women who say that nursing has been the most beautiful sensation they have experienced, there are those who find it so painful that they dread the time their child will need to breastfeed again, and feel guilty about not being the perfect mother.
If you are one of the latter, don’t fret. There is a lot of very helpful breastfeeding advice that will help solve most, if not all your problems.
Be thoroughly prepared
You just have to look. There is information available everywhere on breastfeeding and lactation.
Your doctor, your mother, any woman you know who has had a child, and, of course, the Internet, which will put you in touch with thousands of new mothers, are great sources of breastfeeding advice.
The first advice therefore is – do your research!
With enough preparation, you will know that there are some common things all mothers need to look out for: “latching on”, the process by which your baby finds a comfortable position to suck for milk.
Next, you will definitely need to know what problems you can face – so many mothers complain about sore nipples, cracked and dry nipples, blocked ducts, milk simply not coming out of your breasts, or, every mother’s worst fear, the child not latching on to her breast. More than anything else, you’ll know that you are not alone.
Breastfeeding tips: Make it memorable!
1. Go by your instinct! Don’t go by rigid rules of what nursing should be.
2. If you’re facing latching on problems, make sure that your child is correctly positioned. Breastfeeding pillows are also available, and can be very helpful. Make yourself and your baby as comfortable as possible!
3. Use ointments like lanolin to avoid dried and cracked nipples. Also, leave the nipples to dry after the breastfeeding session. Another very easy and effective way to avoid dry nipples is to simply use your own milk and rub it all over the nipple.
4. Make sure that your baby has the space to breathe. Babies press their face against the breast during breastfeeding so you have to be a little cautious. Keep looking at your baby for signs of discomfort.
5. Once you’ve started nursing, getting up will be a major pain. So make sure that you have all the things you need within your reach: your phone, a book, the remote, drinking water, etc. Make it your personal time for you and your baby!
6. Anticipate your child’s hunger. If you start breastfeeding when your child is already starving, the process is bound to be painful. Start when you see the smallest signs of hunger.
7. The best breastfeeding advice is: relax. Your baby can easily pick up on your stress signals. Expect some amount of pain and discomfort, but know that this is the best, and the healthiest gift that you are giving your baby.