Let’s get real; breastfeeding doesn’t always happen naturally. In fact, for some moms, it doesn’t happen at all, and that’s very ok. Here at Bittylab, we are big supporters of breastfeeding, so, to help those moms who want to breastfeed but can’t easily do it, we have compiled a list of nine natural ways to successfully breastfeed adjusted for your busy life. First, we must understand that the earlier you start breastfeeding, the better your chances of success. It all starts on day one and here’s how to prepare for that day.
- Get support. The last few days of your pregnancy are when things seem to get most hectic. You may need to work harder at the office so things run smoothly while you’re out on maternity leave and simultaneously wondering whether you’re going into labor every time you feel pain. It only takes five minutes to search and find breastfeeding support before delivering your baby within the hospital or birthing center where you will deliver. Nowadays, most hospitals have lactation consultants on staff. If not, ask your local lactation professional to educate you on the best way and different ways you can start breastfeeding. Here are some resources to help you find a local LC, try llli.org, ilca.org, uslca.org or zipmilk.org.
- Choose the right breast-pump. The best kind is the hospital-grade breast-pump that you can usually rent month to month. Arrange to have one in the recovery room and ask if you can rent it while you are home.
- Choose the right baby bottle. Do your research to find a bottle that doesn’t make your baby gassy, delivers air-free milk, doesn’t create nipple confusion, doesn’t free feed and doesn’t force a baby to lay down or assume an awkward feeding posture every time to feed. Of course there’s only one that does all that, Bare Air-free baby bottles with Perfe-latch nipple. Bare is a tool that helps your baby learn the desired deep/wide latch a breastfed baby must develop to nurse properly. An improper latch is the major cause sore nipples as well as poor nourishment. Make sure you bring more than one bottle to the recovery room.
- Prevent sore nipples! Make sure your hospital bag is packed with pure vitamin E oil, available at any vitamin store and most drug stores. Remember, your baby will “break-in” your nipples so don’t wait until they are sore, irritated or bleeding. Keep your nipples generously coated with this amazing natural healing oil. Apply immediately after the baby is done feeding, even if you don’t feel sore. There are nipple ointments made for this purpose but I like to keep things simple and believe the closer to natural, the better.
- Share your baby. Involve your partner, relatives and any friends who are willing to help. Take your time to breastfeed, don’t rush it, you will have plenty of time in the recovery room. Don’t think about work, don’t think about checking emails, someone else is taking care of it now. It is meal-time for your baby and feeding should be treated as a fancy dinner, every single time. Get on your favorite rocking chair, fit your favorite pillows around your body to keep you comfortable, get your favorite relaxing tunes playing and enjoy the experience. Invite your partner to participate; you should both look forward to it.
- Don’t stop! If for some reason your pediatrician suggests supplementing, always start with the breast then supplement, then put the baby at the breast again. Even if the baby doesn’t get enough milk from your breasts at this point, the baby’s suction action is essential to stimulate your milk supply. If you must supplement with formula, I would recommend using an organic formula. Some of the major brands make organic formula and are easy to find at your local supermarket, drug store, club store or national retailer.
- Drink, eat and drink some more. Being well hydrated is essential to milk production, as well as eating healthy in sufficient amounts. A word of wisdom, don’t try to lose your pregnancy weight by dieting; you will only produce less milk, get lightheaded and very moody. Your baby will give you a work-out 24/7 that will keep you active and there will be time to hit the gym before heading back to work. Remember, some moms believe that breastfeeding helps you lose pregnancy weight.
- Keep your sanity! As modern and independent women, we are used to being fun loving. When you have a baby things do change and as with any change you may initially be in shock and overwhelmed by your new responsibilities. Don’t let this affect your breastfeeding relationship. Be sure to fit your girl’s night out in your schedule. Being stressed out doesn’t help you or your baby. Pump ahead of time and store the milk in your Bare bottles so they’re always ready to feed. Get your partner to bond with baby while you go out with your girlfriends for a well-deserved break and share your labor/ delivery story over a margarita (yep, that’s what you’ll be talking about!).
- Don’t forget the selfie!! Ha! Be sure you get plenty of pictures of these moments because time flies!! Whether your selfie is while you breastfeed or bare-feed, you are doing it with love, and that’s what counts. Have fun, be yourself, and happy feeding!
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need support finding the help you need.
Your friend; The Breast Fairy