Nursing is a special bond that only mother and child can have. Nothing is quite like holding your newborn and literally feeding them nourishment with part of your body. There are benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers that cannot be matched with feeding formula. It’s good to give yourself and your baby the very best shot at successfully breastfeeding.
* Try to Nurse in the First Hour – Having the baby latch on within the first hour of birth a large indicator of future breastfeeding success. If you can’t, it won’t stop you from being successful, but it is a great thing to do for both you and the baby.
* Make Sure the Baby Latches on Right – One of the main reasons for nursing failure has to do with the baby not latching on correctly. Most of the areola needs to be inside the mouth in order for the baby to be latched on properly.
* Take a Class – Your hospital or birthing center or your local can help you locate a class to help you learn about nursing. It might seem strange to take a class but if you weren’t raised around nursing women this will greatly increase your chances for success.
* Avoid Creams & Potions – If you do end up with sore or cracked breasts ask your doctor or a professional lactation consultant but sometimes these conditions are actually caused by washing your nipples too much or with wipes. You have natural oils in your areola that keeps your nipples soft, and germ-free. You don’t want to mess with this natural process if you can help it. Plus babies often do not like the flavor of these creams and potions.
* Don’t Time Yourself – Don’t try to rush breastfeeding. It’s not a contest. It’s not just to feed your baby either. It’s a time of great bonding that you’ll never get back. Just enjoy the time with your baby and the relaxation it can bring upon you both.
* Grab a Glass of Water – When you sit down to nurse, grab a glass of water or other beverage because you don’t want to feel uncomfortable and thirsty and have to stop to get something to drink. It’s best if you are ready at the time.
* Don’t Get Too Engorged – Sometimes the trouble with the baby latching on has to do with allowing your breasts to get too engorged. This is especially problematic for women with only a small amount of breast tissue, not allowing for extra space for the milk. Get ahead of your child’s hunger, before you’re engorged and you can avoid that problem. Yes, it’s okay to wake up your baby to feed it a little.
* Avoid Supplementing Too Fast — If you’re having issues it’s best to avoid supplementation for a little while, instead try the plastic nipple shields, or other solutions that a professional nurse or breastfeeding expert can recommend to you.
Don’t put added pressure on yourself. Realize that most women can breastfeed and that women have been doing it since the beginning of time. If you’re one of the few women who cannot breastfeed successfully, don’t beat yourself up, be thankful that supplements do exist. However, do give it a try, you might surprise yourself.