Breastfeeding is natural. Women have been doing it since the beginning of time. So it should be super easy, right? Well, not for every woman. For me, breastfeeding would become one of the greatest challenges of being a new mom. I thought I would never get it right. A big shout out to Kaiser Permanente… I am so thankful that I had help from their lactation consultants. Info from the internet served to be very beneficial as well 🙂 If you are struggling with breastfeeding, please know that you are not alone! It is a challenge, but it is one you can overcome if you seek help!
One of the first things I recommend you do if you are considering breastfeeding or are currently breastfeeding is visiting and bookmarking the following website:
This website is a very valuable resource for breastfeeding moms, and I would refer to it frequently when I was nursing my daughter. I hope you find it helpful, too! Let me know about your own challenges and accomplishments with breastfeeding in the comment section!
I also recommend that you do your research and learn about how to establish a proper latch. If you are in pain every time you breastfeed, something is wrong! When I first started breastfeeding my daughter, it was extremely painful for me. Little did I know that the reason I was experiencing so much pain during every breastfeeding session was because my baby was not latching properly. Make sure to establish a proper latch, or breastfeeding is going to feel like your nipples are on fire! I recommend watching videos on how to latch your baby to your breast (it’s BREASTfeeding, not NIPPLE feeding… which was my issue!). You may also refer to the image and video below!
Your diet is also an important aspect of breastfeeding. It will affect how much milk you actually produce. Follow these tips below, but make sure to consult with your doctor about your diet as well:
- Take a daily vitamin
- Make sure you are drinking enough water (drink to thirst)
- Try to limit caffeine intake to one cup per day
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Oats/Oatmeal & Barley are recommended foods to help increase supply
- Rest! I know that seems impossible with a newborn but try to rest as often as possible
One issue that many breastfeeding moms experience is blocked milk ducts. I experienced this, and it was quite painful! I knew something was wrong when my breasts felt very firm and I had several prominent bumps. This often occurs when you haven’t established a proper latch (see above) and baby is not emptying your breasts at feedings. The milk “backs up” and creates a clogged duct. Leaving a clogged duct untreated can lead to other issues, such as a common condition called mastitis – that’s when your milk supply comes to a complete halt and can make mommy very sick! As soon as you feel a blocked duct, here is what I recommend:
- Take a Motrin Ibuprofen (always consult with your doctor about taking prescription or over-the-counter medications during breastfeeding)
- Jump into a hot shower
- Massage breasts while showering
- Let hot water run over affected breast(s)
- Pump, express milk, or nurse as soon as you get out of shower
I hope this information was helpful to you! Please let me know if you have any questions or would like more information about breastfeeding. Don’t forget to share your own challenges and accomplishments with breastfeeding in the comment section!