Top 5 Breastfeeding Tips Women Should Know
Get the right latch
If you don’t have the right latch, you end up with really sore and perhaps damaged nipples. There’s a TON of great resources online that will literally show you what the right latch looks like but in a nutshell it’s about getting the lower part of the breast and areola into baby’s mouth so that the nipple hits their high palette which stimulates sucking.
Try different breastfeeding positions
One of the most important of the breastfeeding tips is to get the right latch! As part of this, experiment with different positions. The Breast Crawl is an excellent and intuitive position for a newborn. They literately will latch themselves! But, we can’t nurse reclining in our bed with baby. From my experience, I’d say that the cross-cradle is the best position for newborns because it offers a ton of support. My little guy needed my hand on his neck to guide him to the nipple, help establish the right latch, and keep him in the right position as he nurses.
I also have heard that the football hold is really helpful for sore nipples and establishing a good latch. The sideline position, which you can do in bed, is nice for sleep-deprived mamas, but it is a bit advanced for some newborns to get the hang of right off the bat.
With my fast milk letdown, we also use the position where I’m laying back and baby’s body is on top of mine. This way his head is upright and the milk has to work against gravity, helping slow the flow.
While I tend to rely on cradle hold, I know that rotating positions helps with sore nipples since baby’s latch will hit different parts of breast depending on angle.
Know that breastfeeding will be challenging
Call me twisted, but I find if I know the worst right off the bat it helps me to stay positive. It is easier for me to find joy in the small successes along the way and not get discouraged if it doesn’t click right away. I also found that despite the right latch, I did have some tenderness from time to time, and that is perfectly normal. If your soreness persists, look into thrush. You can try this nipple cream, which should reduce thrush symptoms and pain.
Use a breast pump if needed
I found pumping at 3 weeks was helpful so I could literally *see* milk coming out of my breast. While not always a good indicator of supply, it did give me peace of mind that things were working as a first-time breastfeeder.
I also liked having a bit in the freezer so that if I had to leave town unexpectedly or, God forbid, be hospitalized, my child would have some nourishment on hand. Pumps can also be great to help regulate or increase milk supply if needed. My lactation consultant recommended pumping each breast once a day in the morning when supply is usually higher and baby’s appetite is smaller.
Keep it 100% pure
For the first month, try to just breastfeed without introducing a bottle or pacifier. This will help to establish a strong breast bond so that the baby doesn’t experience nipple confusion and start preferring artificial nipples.
Culled from an article on Mamanatural.com