10 tips for new moms #2 Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding should be a piece a cake. Baby meets nipple. Baby latches. Baby eats. End of story. After all, we are biologically designed to breastfeed. We don’t need someone to teach us how to use the bathroom. Why do we need breastfeeding lessons? I don’t know why, but I know breastfeeding is not always as easy as going to the bathroom.

Photo of Sarah Badat Richardson breastfeeding her newborn infant

Breastfeeding advice: learn to breastfeed hands free using a baby carrier- Photo credit: Burton Richardson

Breastfeeding tip – Part 2 of my 10 tips for new moms series

I read the books when I was pregnant and felt prepared. I didn’t fully grasp that breastfeeding is not something you learn best from books. If we lived in tribes, we would have grown up seeing the women of the village breastfeeding their babies. We would have heard about tips, tricks, and solutions to all kind of potential problems. In our modern environment, we rarely actually SEE a woman nurse her child. She either doesn’t breastfeed in public or always does it under cover. The modern new mom usually has very little to no practical experience at all with breastfeeding. What does a properly latched baby look like? I had NEVER seen one until I became a mom.
This is why my number one recommendation for successful breastfeeding is to hire a lactation consultant. A lactation consultant will teach you:

  • proper latching techniques
  • several positions for comfortable breastfeeding (I relied on all the lying positions since I popped my tailbone while giving birth- ouch)
  • how to use a breast pump
  • how to breastfeed your baby inside a baby carrier or sling
  • so much more…

I highly recommend you see a lactation consultant the day you give birth and as often as needed until you feel comfortable. Have one on call. It will make a world of difference. The nurse who coached me at the hospital didn’t know what she was doing. I didn’t know she didn’t know and suffered for it.
Although we all must adjust to the new sensations, breastfeeding should not be painful. One month into it, I almost quit I was in so much pain! One visit with a lactation consultant, three days of practicing what she taught me, and I was pain free. I still nurse my 2 ½ year old.
How much we both would have missed out on, had I not given it one last shot with a professional!

A good website to consult is www.kellymom.com but it does not replace hands on support. A lot of health insurance plans now cover visits with a lactation consultant. If yours doesn’t, know that paying for it out of pocket will be worth it. You’ll enjoy breastfeeding instead of dreading it.

Let me clarify that this post is not meant as a debate on whether or not you should breastfeed. If you choose to breastfeed, then, get an expert to help you.

Did breastfeeding come easy? Did you hire a lactation consultant? What is your best tip for a new nursing mom?

Previously in this series: 10 tips for new moms #1 How to deal with unsolicited advice
Next in this series:
10 tips for new moms #3 Is Co-sleeping for you?
You can find all the posts in this series at:10 tips for new moms-Master Post

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