Breastfeeding can be overwhelming, when I got pregnant I had to find out as much as I could get about breastfeeding before my baby is delivered, being a new mother is tough enough without having to struggle with breastfeeding issue and now that my son is 6 months I can’t say I’m an expert in breastfeeding but through the mistakes I’ve made and learnt from I often offer advice to new moms who are having issues with breastfeeding.
Here’s a list of things you need to know for a successful exclusive breastfeeding;
1. Do your research
Read up about breastfeeding during pregnancy, attend breastfeeding class in your hospital, get as much information as you can about breastfeeding before your baby is born.
2. Nurse as soon as you can after delivery
If there’s no complication that has to be addressed first before you can breastfeed your baby, then start breastfeeding immediately your baby is born. That will help you bond adequately with your baby although if complication stops you, you have more time to bond.
3. Experiment with positions until you find the one that works
Try different breastfeeding positions and see which of them works best for you, if you had C-section the football hold is best for you or the cradle hold. And when you are resting, the laid back or side-lying positions is most comfortable.
4. Skin-to-skin is important during the six weeks
Skin to skin contact should be established immediately after birth, there are so many benefits to it, including temperature regulation and it will help your baby keep warm.
5. Bring a good nursing pillow with you to the hospital
When packing for the hospital, take along a good nursing pillow, you never know how long you’ll be in the hospital, so you can nurse as comfortably as possible.
6. Learn baby’s hunger cues instead of watching the clock
You don’t have to time your baby’s feed if you watch out for the signs that he’s hungry, instead of looking at the time and saying “again” when my baby shows signs of hunger I put him to my breast and let him nurse. Signs of hunger include; rooting, putting hands in mouth, restlessness.
7. Know if baby is getting enough
Being worried that their baby is not gaining weight is what makes most mothers supplement with formula. To find out if your baby is getting enough feed, count your baby’s wet diapers and check their weight gain.
8. Ask your husband for support
We all need support, if there’s no one else to call besides your husband then solicit his help, he can change baby’s diaper while you breastfeed, bring you water and snacks and do whatever will make breastfeeding easy for you.
9. Don’t worry about your milk supply
You might have supply problem, but instead of spending so much on buying remedies, talk to your doctor so he can refer you to a lactating nurse who would help you find the cause, and if it’s no medical problem, then, simply nursing more frequently and doing skin to skin with your child more often will help. The more frequently your baby sucks, the more breast milk your body produces.