Planning On Breastfeeding? Let Me Share With You 5 Essential Tips That Might Also Work For You
There’s tons of information out there about breastfeeding, here I would like to share what I’ve learned so far through my journey and what actually worked for me based on other peoples recommendations. Remember, always seek for professional advice such a lactation consultant before making any changes on your breastfeeding routine.
1 – Eating Well and Plenty of Water
Yes, this is true 100%. I would noticed a significant decrease of my milk supply when not eating and/or drinking plenty. I would also find myself hungrier than usual, the body is smart and is trying to pull calories from it.
Let’s talk about supplements, the only thing that I tried and worked for me was the lactation support tea specifically the GAIA brand which I used and you can find online or at a Sprouts/Whole Foods store. I would brew and drink one tea bag every morning to boost supply for the day. Also, eating oatmeal is a true fact, not sure what properties it has but it works as everyone says! I used to eat cookies and just oatmeal as a cereal in general even before baby was here. I think this really helped when I delivered to bring milk in quicker. I kept doing this consistently as I love oatmeal anyway for breakfast. The way I prepare it is very simple but yet yummy, I like to prepare mine with more liquid than most people (more water/milk).
Here is the recipe in case you are interested and it will make 1 serivng cup: Put to boil 1/4 cup of water then add 1 smidgen of salt, 1 tsp of sugar and 1 smidgen of cinnamon ( you can also use Mexican cinnamon sticks). Once boiling, you add 3 table spoons of organic steal cut oats and let it boil for another 5 minutes. Serve in a cup and add Almond Milk. If you want it to be super oatmeal porwerful you can use an Oat Milk. The brand that I use is the Pacific Foods Organic one, great taste and it will give a little bit of a more sweet taste to it. This will get your milk supply going for sure, but be consistent! You can also add some dried fruit such as cranberries or raisins as it boils for extra sweetness.
2 – Look For a Good Baby Latch
This is specifically important because as my mom would say; breastfeeding is a two individuals job, Mommy’s and baby’s. If your hospital is offering some sort of breastfeeding support after delivery, take it! Lactation consultants are there for a reason and they know what they’re doing. If you are having trouble getting a good latch, ensure that your baby is checked for tongue-tie, for more info click here.Also, a good latch will help somewhat with the pain of the initial feeds, because I will tell you, my breastfeeding journey was initially very painful due to mainly a poor latch. Now, I know because when I noticed baby learned how to latch correctly it became the most wonderful thing ever :).
Technically what I figure through out the first month is that baby was also learning how to suck more milk trying different latches. So don’t get discourage, you will both learn what best works for you. Be patient with yourselves. Deep breaths lol!
3 – Nurse your Baby! Pump When You Can
Now that a good latch has been established, it is 100% true that the more you nurse the more you will produce. I kept reading this information all over the internet, and I found it very true. Supply and demand is real!
What I’ve noticed, even till this day that I’ve gotten back to work, is that there is a decrease of my milk supply when I stop nursing on a schedule. Interestingly for me, the effect of missing one or 2 feeds starts happening about 2 days after I missed the feed. All of a sudden, I would not feel much milk in my breasts. So not sure if this is the same for everyone, but I can tell you I could feel the difference and that there is some sort of delay effect.
If this happens, I would usually take one of my two supplements mentioned above, or both. Also, I would start to nurse again as much as I could and as I said, this would pick back up in around 1 or 2 days.
Another thing that I kept reading is that your baby sometimes will “use” you as a pacifier, not necessarily sucking milk. However, when baby does this, it is triggering certain hormones in your body to produce more milk. In my opinion and experience when I left baby on boob for a period of time asleep and just suckling, I will feel a let down afterwards then my milk supply would pick up.
4 – Wear Loose Bras/Tops
Bras are important: Whether you chose to use a nursing bra or a regular sports bra, make sure it is not super tight through out the day. It really makes a difference. Not to mention that going without one also makes a difference.
5 – Protect Your Nipples
This is particularly important because this is the reason a lot of mommas give up breastfeeding in the first weeks. I am not going to lie to you, in the beging it does hurt, your nipples will get sore, so you really want to protect your them as often as you can. Because that area is overly sensitive for the first 6 to 8 weeks you don’t want anything rubbing against it, like, NOTHING! and you also want your nipple cream to last and to not mess up your clothing. For this you can use your favorite nipple cream, I used Lansinoh brand which helped beautifully every time.
My all time recommendation, and this is something I rarely saw someone recommending through out my online research is: Nipple Shells. I used the Medela ones but you can chose something different that will fit your size and need, they are easy to wash and will catch any overflow milk as well. These shells will protect your nipples from rubbing against your cloths and will let your nipple cream stay to heal as much as possible in between feeds. I cannot recommend these enough. I promise you the pain will subside soon! Hang in there Mom 🙂