Breastfeeding Tips for a New MomThursday, 08 August 2019 02:00 PM
Congratulations, mama! New parent life is so exciting, especially when we envision those sweet, cuddly moments of breastfeeding the baby. But being a new parent can be overwhelming too. For every beautiful breastfeeding story we hear, it seems there is a scary one to counter it. Don’t let the less-than-lovely examples scare you off! With these tips, you’ll be ready to breastfeed like a pro.
Know the Facts
Unfortunately, misinformation abounds when it comes to breastfeeding advice. We often hear that someone was unable to breastfeed, but research tells us that inaccurate information and poor support are most likely to damage a breastfeeding relationship. Only a very small percentage of humans are truly unable to lactate. The remainder are physically able given the information and support needed to succeed. The facts all point to the odds being in your favor! Most bodies that can grow a baby can also feed that baby, and chances are you are well-equipped to breastfeed successfully.
Even when breastfeeding works, it can be a challenge. Newborns breastfeed around the clock, usually every two hours but at some times of day it’s every few minutes! A feed can be long or short, one breast or both, and sleep patterns tend to be brief and erratic. Your time investment in the early days can feel insurmountable. The broken sleep can make it hard to recover from pregnancy and birth. Know that this isn’t a sign of your weakness or failure, and it’s not permanent. Realistic expectations about newborn sleep patterns and frequent feedings will prevent worry. Your precious little bundle of joy will space out feedings and lengthen sleep durations as soon as they are developmentally ready. In the meantime, set the bar low and expect to provide a lot of hands-on care.
You don’t have to do this alone! Surround yourself with family, friends, and professionals who are as committed to breastfeeding as you are. They’ll be the ones to bring you coffee and share factual information on the hard days, and cheer you on when you hit your goals! Many medical professionals are happy to offer breastfeeding tips whether they have lactation credentials or not. Your nurse, obstetrician, and pediatrician each have extensive knowledge in their own specialty but may have never completed any breastfeeding training. You have a right to ask for a qualified lactation professional’s help to ensure your facts are correct and expectations are realistic.
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