Having now nursed six babies in my motherhood journey, I can tell you that it hasn’t always been easy. One would think that it would come completely natural, but unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Right off the bat let me say it can be painful at first. Usually, the reason for this is a bad latch especially if the pain continues past the first week or so.
Within the first week, you can get chapped and be in pain just because it’s all new, even if you are doing everything entirely correct. My favorite balm to help soothe chapped nipples is a product called Earth Mama Angel Baby Non GMO Natural Nipple Butter Nursing Cream. I know, I know that names of some of these things make me laugh, but if you are in enough pain to need it, you will not care what they call it.
If the pain consists and you are unsure of your latch seek out support from a midwife or lactation consultant or even check out YouTube. I found several videos on YouTube back in my earlier days that helped with my technique.
While there is discomfort in the early stages mom, let me be clear, it has been totally worth it with all of my children.
The bond that it has created is something that I would not trade for all the irritation and soreness. The pain doesn’t last, and there are even steps you can take to reduce further the difficulties that can arise from breastfeeding.
So, today Mom I’m here to share with you a few of the lessons I’ve picked up along the way that I wish someone would have told me before I had my first precious baby.
6 Tips for Nursing Mothers
Nursing Bras and Camis
These are a must but forget about “nursing clothes” they are a waste of money. Just be conscious of what you are wearing to be easily accessible. Nursing Cami’s are a must because they cover your torso while your top shirt can be pulled up. This allows all of your clothes to be “nursing clothes.”
Focus On Complete Fedings
I am not a fan of on-demand feeding, especially with my crazy life. I can’t be nursing all day long. I’m not one of those cool moms that can fold laundry and homeschool their kids all while nursing. My babies are easily distracted, and I need special positioning because nursing doesn’t always come super easy for me.
If you focus on complete feedings, there will be a bigger span between feedings. It also allows for your baby to get the much needed hind milk, which typically has more fat in it. I talk more about complete feedings and good sleepy time habits on this episode of theOppermom Show.
Establish Good Routines
This tip goes hand in hand with the last point. Focusing on complete feedings will allow you time to get baby on a good daytime sleep routine as well. A well rested and full baby is a happy baby.
If you have other children, this is also helpful because everyone can know what’s coming next and there is less disruption in everyone’s day. Give yourself grace as this will take time. It doesn’t happen overnight. During the newborn stage just focusing on full feedings is all you can do. Gradually, however, things will get more predictable and under control.
Watch What You Eat
Broccoli is evil. That along with other dark greens can make baby very gassy, and that makes for an unhappy baby and mama.
Caffeine, chocolate, and citrus fruits can also affect babies so if you notice a particularly unhappy baby try cutting these out of your diet to see if they are the culprit.
Co-sleeping and Night Nursing
With my first baby, I had focused heavily on getting my baby to sleep through the night. I sacrificed for the sake of schedule and also truthfully out of a bit of pride. “My baby sleeps through the night at six weeks” seemed more important to me than the lack of breastfeeding.
Sadly, though, my body doesn’t keep up my supply, and once my babies sleep through the night, my milk seems to dry up shortly after that.
Having several babies to test this theory I’ve been able to figure out that feeding through the night has extended my milk supply significantly.
If you are exclusively breastfeeding and you notice your supply dwindling this could be the cause. Some women do not have an issue with this while others do, so it is not a one size fits all. As a disclaimer, if your baby sleeps well during the night, and you don’t want to sacrifice that, sometimes just having them close while you sleep can help you not to lose your milk supply.
Clogged Milk Ducts
Oh, my can these be painful. It can feel like you have a rock in your breast. Inflammation, redness, and tenderness are all symptoms of having a clogged duct. As soon as you see or feel, signs get a warm moist compress on the location or hot steamy shower. Nurse and pump right after. Drink lots of fluids and don’t wear restrictive clothing. Usually, they will work themselves out but if it prolongs you may need to consult a physician.
Moms, as I said above it amazes me that something so natural can be at times so difficult. I remember the first few days after my first child my husband and I scouring our local Target to find nipple extenders because I was on the verge of a meltdown thinking I would never be able to breastfeed. Thinking my poor Khylianna would starve to death and I was an unfit mother.
I am glad to report that neither was the case and each child since has been a new and unique challenge but with every one that bond has been amazing.
Hope these help you to build that bond with your precious one.
Natural Nipple Butter Nursing Cream
by Earth Mama Angel Baby (Author)
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