This post is sponsored by SmartyPants All-in-One Prenatal Gummy Vitamins. I was compensated for this post, however all opinions are 100% my own.
I usually try to shy away from writing about things that aren’t a part of my daily life, but today I’m going to break that rule to write about something that is super important to me, even though I am never going to experience it again. Breastfeeding.
I’m a huge advocate of breastfeeding and nursed all 6 of my kids successfully for at least a year (usually longer). I credit my breastfeeding success to an angelic woman at our church back when I was pregnant with my first. She led a breastfeeding education class for new moms. It was like Lamaze class for your boobs and it was exactly what I needed.
Most women know exactly what to expect when it comes to giving birth, but I’m shocked at how many women know nothing about breastfeeding and end up in a giant hormonal cry-a-thon hours after birth because the baby won’t latch, their nipples feel like they have been set on fire with a blow torch and the hospital lactation consultant won’t stop feeling them up. It’s an ugly scene and one that can be avoided with just a little preparation and advice from someone who has done it (6 times!!!) and lived to tell about it.
1. Start Immediately
Take advantage of this time when baby is wide awake and looking for some comfort and bonding time. Babies are instinctively looking for that breast when they are born and giving it to them right away will give you a huge advantage for breastfeeding success. Let your doctor and nursing staff know that you want to nurse right away, even after a c-section most doctors are happy to oblige.
2. No Artificial Nipples
At least until breastfeeding is well established and never in the few days after birth. Nursing in the few hours and days after birth is more about instinct and comfort than it is about hunger. Babies are born with a need to suck and allowing them to meet that need with a pacifier or bottle is going to make it much harder for them to latch onto the breast when they are hungry.
Nursing takes a lot out of you! If you don’t take care of your basic nutritional needs, then you are going to be run down and tired. Dehydration and a lack of nutrients can even start to affect your milk supply. Make sure you have water nearby at all times and drink frequently. Your caloric needs are increased with nursing so make sure that you are eating plenty of nutrient dense foods and getting lots of good fats and proteins.
Taking a prenatal vitamin as long as you are nursing is essential. Prenatal vitamins will make sure that both you and your baby are getting key vitamins and minerals to keep both of you healthy.
Not all vitamins are created equal though, that’s why I highly recommended SmartyPants All-in-One Prenatal Gummy Vitamins.
They are all natural, free of GMO’s, yeast, gluten and artificial flavors and preservatives. They are also packed full of Omega 3’s, and vitamins D3 and B12, all vital for a healthy mom and baby (plus they taste really good too!!).
4. Feed on Demand
Successful breastfeeding relies on a delicate balance of give and take between mom and baby. This is not the time for schedules. While most babies will naturally settle into a routine within the first few weeks, breastfeeding moms should stay alert to hunger cues and feed when the baby is hungry, not when the clock says it’s time to eat. Trying to feed a baby that is not hungry, or on the opposite end, is ravenous is going to result in a very frustrated mom and baby.
5. Care for Your Nipples
First time moms can occasionally suffer from cracked and sore nipples. While not serious, it can be quite painful when baby is first latching. You can prevent sore and cracked nipples by making sure baby is latched properly (has most of the areola in it’s mouth). If your nipples are starting to get sore and cracked there are a few thing you can do to ease the discomfort.
- Let your milk dry on your nipple, the milk is very effective at soothing sore nipples.
- Don’t use soaps or moisturizers in the shower, these can further irritate sensitive and raw skin.
- Use pure lanolin after each feeding and right out of the shower, this will lock in moisture to promote healing and is completely safe for baby.
Successful breastfeeding is easier than you think, especially if you are prepared. Hopefully these tips will help make your breastfeeding journey a positive and enjoyable experience. Good luck!
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