Breastfeeding Woes: Proven Tips to Make the Process SO MUCH Easier

Breastfeeding Woes: Proven Tips to Make the Process SO MUCH Easier
@littlebirddoula

Whether you’re newly pregnant and reading up on what’s best for your baby, you’re days from your due date and you’re on the fence about breastfeeding or you just had your baby, you’re giving the breast a shot but you’re frustrated (to put it mildly), we’re glad you’re here.

Anyone who tells you that breastfeeding for the first time is a breeze is…let’s just say stretching the truth. Some folks have an easier time of it than others, but let’s face it: having a little person on your nipples can be quite the adjustment.

The key is to remember all of the good that you’re doing. Breastfeeding strengthens your baby’s immune system, helps them to gain weight, lowers their SIDS and cancer risks---and that’s just for starters! There are some benefits headed your way too! Breastfeeding also helps your uterus to contract quicker, speeds up weight loss, helps you to save a boatload of cash (your milk means no formula) and can even make birth control something you can put on pause (read more about that here).

NOW does it sound like something worth doing? If you need help on how to make it more comfortable, we’ve got some proven ways for you right here.

Dress comfortably

You thought your breasts were sensitive while you were pregnant? That’s a walk in the park compared to how they can (sometimes) feel while you’re nursing! If they hurt in the beginning, that’s normal. The first two weeks are usually the hardest, but you’ll get through it. Something that makes everything easier is to invest in comfortable nursing bras and tank tops. Your baby is going to be pretty demanding. You need clothing that won’t make you feel constrained and is easy to remove.

Watch your diet

A mommy’s sacrifice continues to grow as your baby does. When you were pregnant, there were certain foods you were told to avoid. Now that you’re nursing, the key is to not eat things that are too acidic or can give you gas. Some of the foods on that list include pineapples, broccoli, citrus fruit, cucumbers and cherries (they have loads of fiber in them). Also avoid spicy foods and alcohol. Bottom line, always remember that what you eat (or drink), goes directly into your baby’s system. And their bodies are very fragile right now.

Use teabags on your nipples

It’s not rare to have nipples that are cracked and raw. Lanolin cream can help to keep them moisturized. Know what else works? Herbal tea bags! Let them steep, cool until they are a comfortably warm temperature and then place them on your nips. It’ll feel like heaven and the herbs will help to speed up the healing.

Pay attention to latching

Dr. Sears is a baby specialist who has a wealth of information on so many things, including how to get your baby to properly latch onto your breast. If they don’t, they’ll be irritated and you’ll be in pain. If you’d like to get some helpful tips (or confirmation that you’re doing it right), click here.

Don’t be obsessed with pumping

If you have a Type A personality and know it, it can be easy to obsess over pumping. Don’t do that. It will affect what little sleep you are getting for one. It can also cause you to end up with more milk than you need. You can read on how much you should be pumping daily here.

Sleep (and relax)

You’re not going to do your baby, your immune system or your milk supply much good if you’re exhausted or stressed out. You might think it’s ridiculous to say “Get some sleep”, but remember that sleep is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. When your baby is resting, use that as cat nap time or at least time to drink some tea and lay on the couch to catch your breath a bit. Studies have linked sleep deprivation to women producing low amounts of breast milk.

Speak with a consultant

There should’ve been a breast consultant who spoke with you right after your baby was born. But if you still can’t seem to get the hang of things, make an appointment to see another one. Sometimes it takes a while to get the hang of breastfeeding but don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re already a Superwoman for giving birth. Take your cape off. Pat yourself on the back. Even with breastfeeding, practice makes perfect.

Click here to get alerts of the latest stories