From One Mom to Another: 11 Top Breastfeeding Tips
If you're thinking about breastfeeding your baby, don't miss these tips. They're written from one mom to another.
You can choose to breastfeed your baby for two months, two years, or more, or even to supplement formula. Just, remember that this is a very important decision, so you shouldn’t take it lightly. First of all, you should know that whatever you decide is alright, and nobody should tell you what to do. This is why we’ll give you these useful breastfeeding tips.
If you’re a new mom and you’re breastfeeding your baby, experts will recommend you to do it exclusively until they’re six months old. Then, if you both want to, you can continue doing it. However, this can be an amazing goal to achieve, since many women may find it quite difficult to breastfeed their babies at first.
From one mom to another: breastfeeding tips
1. Mothers who breastfeed their babies need 500 extra calories per day
In order to do this, choose healthy energetic food, such as food rich in proteins (oatmeal, linseed flour, brewer’s yeast, yogurt, eggs and vegetables). Furthermore, calcium, vitamin D, iron, folic acid, vitamins and minerals are very important during this period.
2. Breastfed babies don’t follow a schedule, they fix it
Therefore, try to go with the flow of your milk and your baby’s rhythm, specially when your baby is a newborn. In fact, specialists usually advise you to feed your baby every time they request it. As a result, they eat every time they get hungry.
3. Breastfeeding tips: using medication during pregnancy
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen, which are very common, are usually safe during breastfeeding. When certain medications concentrate on fat, they’re called “lipophilic”.
Since breastmilk contains large amounts of fat, fat-soluble medication is usually prescribed with precaution.
4. Anxiety medication
Medications used for anxiety and depression are lipophilic and live for long periods of time. This means that they’re fat-soluble medication, which take a long time to metabolize.
Even though the exposure children experience to these medications through breastmilk seems to be quite low, there are no investigations regarding their long term effects. This is why, sometimes, mothers who use these medications prefer to avoid breastfeeding their babies.
5. Hydrate your nipples, one of the best breastfeeding tips
Use olive oil to hydrate your nipples. Just as you’d use hand cream for protection, hydrate your nipples. If you keep them soft, they won’t crack or bleed. As a result, they’ll hurt less.
6. Breastfeeding tips: your baby’s stomach is small
During their first three days of life, babies often lose weight. Besides, they can’t eat too much because their intestine is only the size of a nut. During those first days, you may have to breastfeed your baby up to twelve times a day. Since they’re not eating that much, they don’t need to spend so much time attached to your breast: from eight to ten minutes per breast will be enough.
Once the milk comes in (on the fourth day), babies should spend between ten to fifteen minutes on each breast. And, once or twice a day, they should spend between 15 to 20 minutes per breast. Babies should be able to drain one breast in a proper period of time.
7. Don’t pump your breastmilk, another piece of advice you should take into account
If you think you’re feeding your baby properly during the first days, don’t pump your breastmilk. It should work as a supply-demand model. If you pump your breastmilk too often, you may overproduce it. Therefore, get to know your body and your baby first.
8. When you go away, don’t starve
If you go away, don’t forget your road trip snacks. Remember, mothers who breastfeed their babies need some extra calories. So, take water bottles and healthy snacks, to generate energy and patience.
9. Avoid certain fish and shellfish when breastfeeding your baby
Mothers who breastfeed their babies must avoid shellfish and limit the intake of certain fish such as tuna or mackerel. This is because they may contain high amounts of mercury and other toxins. If you follow this advice, it’ll be healthier for you.
10. Breastfeeding tips: sometimes, the simpler the better
Sometimes, breastfeeding problems can be solved by going back to basics. If your nipples hurt, try to change position, shape, grab your breast, or break the baby’s suction and start again. If you’re not producing enough milk, try to breastfeed your baby more often.
11. Trust yourself during this period
Breastfeeding is about three things: trusting biology, trusting your body, and trusting your baby. You should trust your own instinct. It’ll tell you what’s best for you and your baby. Besides, you’re the best person to answer your baby’s needs.
Put into practice these breastfeeding tips
As you can see, these breastfeeding tips can be quite useful during this period. However, if you’ve got more questions, remember to ask your doctor for more information.