Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience that provides numerous benefits for you and your baby. Breastmilk offers the best source of nutrition for your little one, with a perfect balance of proteins, fats, vitamins, and antibodies that help protect them from infections and illnesses. In addition, breastfeeding fosters a strong bond between mother and child, creating a nurturing and loving relationship.
However, although it is very rewarding, it can be just as difficult. In this article, we will discuss 5 tips to help you and your baby have more success with breastfeeding.
Always consult your primary care physician or lactation consultant for personalized advice.
- Tip 1: Proper Latching Techniques
- Tip 2: Establishing a Comfortable Breastfeeding Routine
- Tip 3: Monitoring Your Baby's Milk Intake
- Tip 4: Safely Storing Breast Milk
- Tip 5: Seeking Support and Encouragement
At Burrbaby, we're dedicated to being a part of a healthier world for your children. We hope to accomplish this through our zero-plastic glass breast milk storage containers and bottles. These completely non-toxic, sustainable choices protect your baby's health and our planet.
Challenges faced by new moms during breastfeeding
As a new mom, it's completely natural to experience challenges during your breastfeeding experience. Your baby needs to be ready, you have to figure out the perfect position, determine if the latch is right, and so more. Every mother goes through this, so rest assured, you're not alone. The good news is that no matter how tough it is, with proper support, it can and will get better.
Essential tips for successful breastfeeding
To help you and your baby have more success breastfeeding, we've compiled five essential tips to guide you on your journey, providing practical advice and addressing some common concerns.
As a bonus, we'll also touch on the importance of safe storage solutions for breast milk if you need to pump as well.
Tip 1: Latching Techniques
Breastfeeding is a beautiful bonding experience between you and baby, but it can also present some challenges. One crucial aspect of successful breastfeeding is getting the right latch. A good latch enables efficient milk transfer, reduces nipple discomfort, and helps reduce common breastfeeding issues like, engorgement, and low milk supply.
A step-by-step guide to achieving a proper latch
To help you and your baby get off to a great start, here are a few steps to help achieve a good latch:
- Find a comfortable position: Choose a comfortable breastfeeding position that supports you and your baby. You can use pillows or a nursing pillow to provide extra support if needed.
- Bring your baby close: Get your baby positioned in your arms how you will be holding them during breastfeeding.
- Align your baby's mouth and nipple: Try to position your baby so that their nose is near your nipple, allowing them to tilt their head back and open their mouth wide.
- Wait for a wide-open mouth: When your baby opens their mouth wide (like a yawn), quickly bring them to your breast. Their chin should touch your breast first, and their mouth should cover a significant portion of your areola. You can shape your hands in an upside down "U" shape to shape your breast and push it into your baby's mouth.
- Check for signs of a proper latch: When your baby is properly latched, their lips should be flanged outwards, and you should feel a gentle tugging sensation without pain. In addition, your baby's cheeks should be full and rounded, and you should hear them swallowing.
Consult reliable sources for further guidance
It is essential to remember that every mother and baby are different. If you're experiencing difficulties with latching, don't hesitate to reach out to a lactation consultant, a healthcare professional, or a breastfeeding support group for personalized advice and guidance.
Tip 2: Establishing a Comfortable Breastfeeding Routine
Establishing a comfortable breastfeeding routine is important for both you and your baby. Consistency can help you and your baby get into a groove where you are comfortable and your baby is getting the nutrients they need.
In addition, by creating a relaxing and secure environment for nursing, you can help alleviate some of the stress that often comes with being a mother.
Creating a breastfeeding-friendly environment
Your surroundings can significantly impact the success and comfort of your breastfeeding sessions. Choose a calm and quiet space where you can focus on helping your baby get a good latch and drink. It's ok to watch TV, go on your phone, etc. but also try to focus on the special experience that is breast feeding
It's also very helpful to have comfortable seating, such as a rocking chair or couch with pillows to provide support during feedings. You can also enhance the atmosphere with a dimmable lamp; soft lighting can create a soothing atmosphere, especially during nighttime nursing sessions.
Again, pillows, pillows, pillows. Use them to your advantage to take stress off your shoulders, wrists, and back.
Tips for finding a comfortable breastfeeding position
Finding the proper breastfeeding position can take practice but is very important for your comfort and baby's ability to latch correctly. There are several positions to try, and it's a good idea to experiment to find what works best for you and your baby. Some common positions include:
- Cradle hold: Position your baby across your lap, with their head resting on your forearm and their body aligned with yours.
- Cross-cradle hold: Similar to the cradle hold, your baby's head is supported by the hand opposite the breast you're nursing from.
- Football hold: Hold your baby at your side, with their legs tucked under your arm, and support their head with your hand.
- Side-lying position: Lie on your side, facing your baby, and use pillows for support if necessary.
Don't forget to change positions periodically to ensure equal milk flow from both breasts and to prevent soreness.
Supporting Your Physical Well-Being
Breastfeeding can be demanding on your body, so caring for yourself during this time is vital. Stay hydrated, maintain a well-balanced diet, and get adequate rest to ensure you feel your best while nursing. If you experience pain or discomfort, consult a healthcare professional or lactation consultant for guidance.
Tip 3: Monitoring Your Baby's Milk Intake
Understanding Hunger Cues and Feeding Frequency
Your baby obviously can't tell you when they are hungry, but there are some cues to help you recognize when your baby is hungry so you can feed them on demand. This helps establish a strong milk supply and ensures your baby receives the necessary nourishment.
Look for early hunger cues such as smacking lips, sucking on fingers, or turning their head toward your breast. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests feeding newborns about 8 to 12 times daily.
It doesn't necessarily have to be spread out evenly (e.g. every 2 hours), but rather try to get around 6 feedings per 12 hour period. If they are cluster feeding, they might have longer breaks later on.
Keep track of how many feedings your baby is supposed to have at their age and try to match it. Every baby is different, so don't expect it to be exact.
How to Know if Your Baby is Getting Enough Milk
It's natural for new moms to worry about whether their baby is getting enough breast milk. To put your mind at ease, keep an eye on these indicators:
- Wet Diapers: Your baby should have a certain number of wet diapers at their age. Follow your pediatrician's guidelines. The number should be around 3 wet diapers per day in the first few days, and 6 per day through the first month.
- Bowel Movements: Again, your pediatrician should advise you you on how many poopy diapers your baby should have at their age. It should be around 1-2 in the first few days, 5-10 by the first week, and then decreases as they age.
- Steady Weight Gain: A baby should steadily gain about 4-7 ounces per week after initial weight loss in the first week. Their weight gain per day will decrease as they age.
- Audible Swallowing: During nursing, you should be able to hear your baby swallowing.
- Contentedness: A well-fed baby will appear satisfied and content after a feeding session.
Tip 4: Safely Storing Breast Milk
Pumping is an integral part of many mothers' breastfeeding journey as it allows you to feed your baby breast milk when feeding from the breast might not be an option.
Properly storing your breast milk is crucial for preserving its nutrients and ensuring it remains safe for your little one to consume. In addition, the way you store breast milk can impact its overall quality and taste as well.
Recommendations for Glass Containers and Avoiding Harmful Plastic Chemicals
When it comes to choosing containers for breast milk storage, many new moms may be uncertain about the safest option. While plastic breast milk storage bags have been a popular choice, research has shown that they can potentially leach harmful chemicals and microplastics into the milk. Glass containers, on the other hand, offer a safer alternative that protects both your baby's health.
Burrbaby's zero-plastic glass containers are specifically designed for storing breast milk in the fridge and freezer. Their non-toxic, chemical-free material helps protect your breast milk from contamination, ensuring that your baby is not exposed to harmful substances.
Guidelines for Breast Milk Storage in the Fridge and Freezer
Pumping breast milk is a lot of work, so when we store it, we want to make sure it stays fresh and safe for baby. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should store freshly expressed breast milk in clean containers with secure lids, like burrbaby's glass containers, and label them with the date. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Room temperature (up to 77°F / 25°C): Store for no more than 4 hours.
- Refrigerator (39°F / 4°C or cooler): Store for up to 4 days.
- Freezer (0°F / -18°C or colder): Store for up to 6 months in a regular freezer, and up to 12 months in a deep freezer.
Choosing the Right Bottle for Your Baby
While breastfeeding is the first choice for many mothers, there may be times when a bottle is necessary, such as when mom returns to work or if the baby is being cared for by another person. Maybe you just prefer bottle feeding breast milk, and that's ok too. Choosing the right bottle is a long process, and glass bottles may be the right option for you.
Glass bottles, like those from burrbaby, eliminate concerns about harmful plastic chemicals leaching or microplastics shedding into the milk and are more sustainable than plastic or silicone alternatives, promoting a healthier feeding experience for your little one.
Additionally, Burrbaby utilizes a wide, breast like nipple to make for an easy transition from breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
Always consult your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant for personalized advice.
Tip 5: Seeking Support and Encouragement
Breastfeeding can be an immensely rewarding experience, but it also comes with its challenges. A robust support system can make all the difference when navigating those challenges. According to a study published in Pediatrics, new moms with access to professional support and encouragement are more likely to continue breastfeeding.
Places to Find Support
Lactation Consultants: Certified lactation consultants (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are healthcare professionals who specialize in supporting breastfeeding mothers. They can provide valuable guidance and assistance with latching, positioning, milk supply, and other breastfeeding concerns.
Breastfeeding Support Groups: Many communities offer breastfeeding support groups where moms can share experiences, tips, and encouragement with one another. The La Leche League, for example, has local groups across the globe which provide mother-to-mother support.
Healthcare Professionals: Don't hesitate to ask your pediatrician or obstetrician for breastfeeding guidance. They can help address common concerns and provide referrals to specialized resources if needed.
Encouragement for New Moms on Their Breastfeeding Journey
Breastfeeding can be an emotional and challenging experience, but remember, you are not alone. Every mother's journey is unique, and with persistence, patience, and the proper support, you can overcome hurdles along the way. Your dedication to providing your little one with the best possible nutrition is something to be proud of, and this nurturing bond will only strengthen over time.
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