Breastfeeding is something women have been doing for centuries but it isn‘t always easy. I was very nervous about breastfeeding because everyone I knew who had kids bottle fed their kids either by choice or because breastfeeding didn’t work for them. I didn’t have anyone to turn to if I needed advice.
The following tips are some of the things that make breastfeeding work for me. I breastfed my daughter for 13 months and I am currently breastfeeding my 7 month old. I hope these tips will help make breastfeeding an enjoyable experience for you as it is for me.
- Find a comfortable place to breastfeed. Breastfeeding can last up to 40 minutes (sometimes longer if you have a big eater like my boy) so you want to pick a place that won’t be hard on your back. You may have to try a few different areas that will work well for you both. I liked sitting on my recliner so I was comfortable and I could watch TV while the baby slept and fed. Keep the phone nearby (it will ring as soon as you and baby are comfortable – it’s Murphy’s Law) and get yourself a drink for those extra-long feeds.
- Get a good breastfeeding pillow. It will help with holding your baby in place so your arms won’t tire. It will also help to keep baby in a comfortable position.
- Latching is always an issue for new moms to get used to. If latching on hurts, they are not on properly. Break the suction – by inserting your little finger between your baby’s gums and your nipple – and try again.
- Look for breastfeeding clinics in your area that will offer support when needed. La Leche League offers support groups in many areas. If it wasn’t for the moms in these support groups, I don’t know that I would’ve lasted as long as I did. Remember that you are not alone and if you want help, it is out there.
- Have an older child that demands your attention as soon as you sit down to feed the baby? Keep a few books nearby so you can read together. This way you still have some one on one time with them and they won’t feel like the baby is monopolizing all your time.
- Finally patience is a virtue. I realize that breastfeeding is not for everyone but if you choose to, it can and will be the most wonderful bonding experience.