Breastfeeding should not hurt. Ever. Yes, the first week is usually difficult when you and your little one are figuring it out. But if you have dry, cracked or just sore nipples after that, she’s not latching correctly. We all make the mistake of pushing through the pain, thinking it’s supposed to be like this or it will get better. Don’t. There’s no gain in pushing through the pain and nursing inefficiently. Change your feeding position to help her latch better. Watch a YouTube video on how to self correct. See a lactation consultant that can help you. Breastfeeding should be beautiful.
Did you know that keeping pressure off your breasts and thus having better circulation and can help avoid clogged milk ducts? This means not wearing a tight fitting bra and clothing.
Ugh, nothing is more demotivating to breastfeed than having sore nipples, especially when they start teething. To speed up the healing process, let your breast milk air dry on your nipples after every feed or pump session.
Take your partner, friend or even your mom along when you visit a lactation consultant. Sleep deprivation may cause you to forget vital information so make sure you have an extra pair of eyes and ears.
Breastfeed on demand rather than sticking to a routine. Did you know that babies nurse for other reasons than hunger as well? Some reasons include nursing for comfort, nursing to fall asleep and sometimes just because they are bored. Many of their emotional needs may not be met if you only feed according to a schedule. Besides, nursing on demand does wonders for your supply.
Breastfeed while baby wearing. Although taking a break and (finally) drinking a hot cup of tea while breastfeeding your new infant is one of the top points of your day, life looks very different when you also have a toddler roaming around. When you don’t have that 20 or 30min to relax, try feeding your baby while baby wearing. This way baba is content and you have free hands to get stuff done around the house.
Give your child a toy or blanket to hold while breastfeeding. This will save your chest from being scratched and your hair from being pulled on.
Your baby will try to communicate with you when they need something long before they start to cry. Hunger (or thirst, or comfort or ANY reason that your baby will want to be fed) signs that babies will give:
– Turn or raise their head repeatedly.
– Open and close their mouth.
– Stick out their tongue.
– Suck on their hand or whatever is near.
If you see your baby making these moves, offer your breast right away. Your baby will be happy that they don’t have to struggle to get your attention, and you’ll build a level of intimacy that will deepen your relationship.
You’re going to be spending a significant amount of time holding your baby to your breast while they feed. If you do this in an unsupported sitting position, it can get uncomfortable quickly. Additionally, trying to maintain an uncomfortable position for a prolonged period of time can lead to significant back, shoulder, and neck pain.
Not to mention, the constant squirming and moving on your part can disrupt your baby’s breastfeeding and result in irritability and increased hunger. That’s why it’s so important for you to be comfortable throughout the process.
We recommend one of two positions for comfortable breastfeeding:
Lie on your side with your baby facing you.
Sit in a reclined position with your baby lying in your arms.
A bed or a large couch with plenty of pillows to support your back and arms make these positions ideal for breastfeeding.
Find the one that’s right for you, but don’t be afraid to mix it up once in a while depending on your own needs. The more attentive you are to your own comfort, the more nursing sessions will be a pleasant break for both you and your baby.