Make your breastfeeding journey easy with our tips
7 minute read, Written By: Momly
Breastfeeding is an emotional moment for new moms. For eons, it is preached and followed by people. Mainly because it is regarded as the best nutritional health choice by doctors. Also, breastmilk is replete with antibodies that combat and protect your baby from various illnesses like ear infections, diabetes, chronic conditions, and other ailments.
World Breastfeeding Week is specially celebrated in the first week of August and globally, many moms join in the celebration to spread awareness and endorse its importance. Though breastfeeding has existed since time immemorial, new moms face enough challenges during breastfeeding. These challenges are brushed under the carpet and never given a second glance.
In this blog, Momly highlights those common breastfeeding challenges that breastfeeding mamas face and unfolds ways to navigate through them.
- Dry nipples – Be careful with soaps or body washes. Stop using them during your breastfeeding period to avoid your nipples from becoming dry or chapped. Just rinsing with water is enough as water is completely safe and does not interfere with your skin or cause skin damage. “Apply breastmilk before feeding or apply a nipple care ointment after checking with your doctor”- says Dr. Shambhavi (Momly mom)
- Low milk supply – Keep yourself nourished with nutrient-rich food to produce enough milk. Do not get anxious but ensure that you sleep as much as possible when your baby sleeps, to balance out the sleep deficiency. Turn away from negative thoughts as your body picks the vibe of your mind. You need to keep yourself positive to make your nursing period easy.
- Engorgement – Engorgement is when your breasts are overloaded with milk. This condition clogs the blood vessels and loads fluid in your breasts, causing you pain around your breast area. Use ice packs or take hot showers to alleviate pain due to engorgement.
- Sore nipples – This is normal as most breastfeeding mothers feel soreness in the initial days. Use your one finger to separate the suction after feeding. Make sure that you use both breasts as feeding through only one will build the milk ducts which causes pain and uneasiness. For severe issues, hold an icepack to your sore nipples. “Your latch needs assessment. Breastmilk is one option.” – says Divya (Momly mom)
- Inverted nipples – This happens when your nipples are not pointed outwards. Either they are flat or point inwards which makes latching difficult. A little stimulation can help your nipples protrude or point outwards but if it doesn’t help then talk to your lactation expert.
- Unsolicited opinions and advice – Though friends and family offer great support, their lenses are colored with their own experiences. They will speak from their own experiences. If you are facing difficulty and unsolicited opinions are blocking your way, causing your mental health to spiral down, do not get drawn into it. Every woman’s breastfeeding journey is different. Better seek a professional or a counselor who will be your anchor and understand your perspective and will put you in touch with a medical expert to help you out in this journey.
Breastfeeding tips for new moms
- Have a chat with your mom friends in your mom community and get all your doubts cleared related to breastfeeding.
- Speak to your doctor and make clean breast of the medications that you are following and understand whether it is safe to consume them while nursing your baby
- Shop for comfortable maternity wears and nursing wears like nursing bras, maternity drapes, and maternity feeding kaftans, and stock up on nursing essentials like breastfeeding pillows.
- Get yourself comfortable by sitting in a comfortable position before breastfeeding. Too much slouching or the wrong position can pose harm to your back.
- Enrol in a breastfeeding class or childbirth education class during your pregnancy period so that you have an idea about what nursing entails. Also understanding beforehand can help alleviate stress.
- Eat nutritious fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products so that you are passing on the bulk of nutrition to your breastfeeding baby.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Do not compare your breastfeeding journey with others.
- You can feed your baby as long as you can. 6 months of breastfeeding is recommended but you take a call by determining what works for you and your baby.
Invest in the right breastfeeding accessories
- ·Breastfeeding clothes – Breastfeeding dresses or nursing wears come in many colors, designs, and patterns. Always go for what feels comfortable to you and your baby. Cotton wears make a great choice. Nursing kaftans or nursing drapes are a vogue these days which are stylish and give a chic look. Some feeding dresses can be worn while you are pregnant as they come with nice ruffles/frills and give a dainty look in maternity photoshoots.
Breastfeeding bra – Nursing bra is used when you are breastfeeding your baby. It usually comes with adjustable shoulder straps and is non-padded/non-wired. Soft stretchy feeding bras with flaps at the front for easy feeding access should be your pick so that you don’t have to worry about lifting your entire bra to feed your baby. You can also go for leak-proof cups to conceal the feeding stains.
Breastfeeding pillow – Invest in breastfeeding pillows that are soft, comfortable, and provide support to your back. A fluffy, cushiony, polyester pillow that feels like a mother’s embrace while nursing your baby is what every breastfeeding mother should possess.
What is the role of a lactation expert?
- Lactation consultants are experts who are trained in the topic of breastfeeding.
- They have tools and different mechanisms for new moms who need breastfeeding training.
- They show how to massage your breasts and hand express to relieve the engorgement.
- They teach easy latching techniques and effective breastfeeding positions like cradle hold, cross-cradle hold, etc
- Teach you how to identify baby cues and hunger patterns
- They give insight into the foods you should be eating to boost the milk supply.
- Many a time, babies don’t latch in the first few hours. A lactation expert will show you ways and erase your latching worries during those hours.
- There are lactation boosters that you could go for in case you suffer from insufficient milk supply but do not blindly consume them. Always discuss it with your lactation expert as they know better.
- You can avail authentic information on breast pumps available in the market.