Breastfeeding is good for babies and good for moms, but it’s not necessarily easy at first. Here are 10 tips to help you succeed at it.
While pregnant, commit to breastfeeding by buying a nursing pillow, nursing nightgowns, wireless nursing bras, a breast pump, and nursing cover.
Read books, take a class, or talk to other breastfeeding moms. Deliver your baby in a hospital or birth center with breastfeeding-friendly policies like rooming-in (your newborn sleeps in your room) and visits from lactation consultants.
Forget About Modesty
Ask nurses, doulas, friends, and family to show how your baby should latch on. Join La Leche League (www.llli.org) or other support groups.
Keep at It
The first week of nursing is tough; be ready for engorged breasts, painful letdowns, and perhaps even chapped or bleeding nipples. Focus on the bonds created by nursing and future benefits to get you through.
For cracked, chapped, or sore nipples, moisturize with lanolin cream after your baby nurses.
Mom’s Nipples Only
Resist giving pacifiers or bottles for the first month so your milk supply will adjust and baby will not start to prefer artificial nipples.
Once your supply is established, pump milk for freezer storage and so dad can bond with baby.
Take Care of Yourself
Stay hydrated, well-fed, and relaxed. Drink a glass of water every time you feed your baby.
Give it Away
If you have excess milk, consider donating your frozen milk to a milk bank for preemies or sick babies; hmbana.org.
If your baby is hungry while you’re out, find a spot to sit and nurse, using a nursing cover if available. NJ has laws to protect moms who breastfeed in public places.