Six Breastfeeding Tips for New Mothers
For new mothers, breastfeeding may feel intimidating or even anxiety-inducing. How do you know if you’re producing enough milk? Is your baby getting enough nutrients? Our physicians San Antonio OBGYNs at Legacy Women’s Health support all new moms, however they choose to feed their babies. If you’re choosing breastfeeding, we have reliable breastfeeding tips and breastfeeding advice to get you started.
Breastfeeding is one of the most fulfilling acts a new mother can experience, and it can bond you and your baby from the very first days after they’re born. These six breastfeeding tips will help you get off to a successful start from the beginning.
Stay with your baby after birth
While it may take three to five days postpartum for milk to start being produced, it is important to remain close to your baby. Lactation experts consistently offer this piece of breastfeeding advice: Skin-to-skin contact is recommended to promote closeness and the hormonal response needed to increase breastfeeding success.
Start nursing as soon as you can after your baby is born. Colostrum is the thick, yellow milk first produced after giving birth. This milk is essential for babies because it contains rich nutrients and antibodies necessary for optimal baby growth and health.
Listen to your baby’s cues
To communicate their hunger, babies use a variety of cues. Babies become more alert and active, and may move their hands or mouths, showing their desire to eat. Crying is one of the last indicators of hunger, so it’s best to pay close attention to hunger cues and feed your baby promptly. It can be challenging to get a baby to latch on when upset.
When nursing, get comfortable
To alleviate unnecessary frustration, one of the best breastfeeding tips is to create a space for nursing where you can get comfortable. Create a calm environment where you and your baby will not be disturbed. It will take time and practice for you and your baby to each find the most comfortable and effective position for breastfeeding. Keep nursing equipment handy to reduce anxiety and unpreparedness.
- Nursing pads
- Breast pump
- Storage pads
- Nursing pillow
- Nursing bra
Know the signs that breastfeeding is going well
There are two easy-to-spot signs that breastfeeding is going well for your baby. First, babies should go through five or six soiled diapers a day, once their mother’s milk is fully flowing. It’s solid breastfeeding advice to keep track of your baby’s bowel movements and diapers, as this can give you peace of mind that breastfeeding is going well.
The second sign that breastfeeding is successful is regular weight gain. You can track this at home and with your baby’s pediatrician.
Take care of yourself
To ensure that there are no toxins entering your baby’s system, take care of yourself. Do not smoke or drink alcohol during the time period that you are breastfeeding a baby, and try to consume 500 extra calories a day.
It’s also important to pay attention to what you eat, and consumer beneficial foods to create a balanced diet for you and your baby.
- Eggs for choline
- Beans for iron
- Leafy greens for vitamin B
- Healthy fats like salmon and avocado
Ask a professional for breastfeeding tips, if you feel that you need help.
If you are feeling unsure about breastfeeding, or if you have started and it hurts, contact a lactation professional. Most hospitals have them on staff, and our team of San Antonio OBGYNs would also be happy to provide you with a referral to a breastfeeding expert.
As a new mother, you are not alone in your struggles. The most important goal in this process is getting your baby fed. Reach out to us if you need more breastfeeding tips. We are always here to support you, through delivery and beyond.