Breastfeeding may be one of the most natural processes in the world, but that doesn’t mean it comes easy! Many parents struggle and find themselves at a loss for how to keep making breastfeeding / chestfeeding work, even when they do want to continue. If you are looking for some tips, tricks, and resources for nursing your little one, you have come to the right place.
One of the most basic components of breastfeeding / chestfeeding is the law of supply and demand. In the early days, cluster feeding and nursing on demand help signal your body to produce more milk. The more baby nurses, the more your body learns to make!
It can be helpful to understand the benefits of breastfeeding when deciding if it is something that works for your family. Here are just a few of the many benefits that come with breastfeeding:
- Baby gets essential antibodies and customized nutrition
- Reduces the chances of some childhood illnesses
- Reduces the chance of postpartum depression in breastfeeding moms
- Creates unique opportunities for bonding and calming
Tips and Tricks
The following tips and tricks can help address some common breastfeeding / chestfeeding issues to help make it positive and rewarding experience:
- Find a comfortable position to hold the baby that allows for easy latching.
Skin to skin contact, lying back so that baby resting across your stomach and chest, sitting together in a bath, or propping yourself with lots of pillows can make everyone calmer and facilitate a better latch.
- Make sure the baby’s mouth is wide open before latching on.
A proper latch should not cause excruciating pain in the nipples, although some slight discomfort might be normal at first. Your baby should have a large part of your areola in their mouth along with the nipple, and you should see their bottom jaw moving as they suck.
- Allow the baby to control the pace of feeding.
Breastfeed frequently and on demand, especially in the first 12 weeks of life. Remember the law of supply and demand, and nurse when your baby shows hunger cues as much as possible in the first few weeks in order to establish a good supply.
- Don’t increase your fluid intake specifically to increase your supply
Contrary to popular belief, increasing fluids have little to do with supply. There is actually no research to back up that popular claim. So, no need to specifically change your diet or up your fluid intake specifically to increase your supply.
Lactation Consultants and Resources in Rochester, NY
This is a very brief guide to a very broad and complex topic! For more information, check out my interview with lactation consultant, Dianne Cassidy. During this interview we discuss many of your common breastfeeding questions and share wonderful tips on breastfeeding basics. You can also listen to her podcast, Badass Breastfeeding.
- Dianne Cassidy | Dianne Cassidy Consulting
- Beautiful Birth Choices
- URMC Breastfeeding Clinic
www.urmc.rochester.edu/breastfeeding.aspx | 585-276-MILK
- Ellen Derby, CLC
- Morgan Moy and Rebecca Dilley | The Doula Duo
In the end, a healthy parent and a fed baby are the goal! This post isn’t meant to insinuate one method of feeding your baby is better than the other—if you are unable to nurse for any reason, or simply feel it is not the best choice for you and your family, that’s okay. But, if you do want to continue nursing your baby, don’t be afraid to reach out for help from the lactation consultants on this list or other birth professionals.
You’ve got this!
P.S. Download my pregnancy and parenting resource guide for a list of lactation consultants and other useful pregnancy resources in the Rochester, NY area.