Being a new Mom is such an amazing feeling. Snuggling that new precious bundle of sweet happiness and that new baby smell, nothing beats it. However, when it comes to breastfeeding it can be a bit harder to get going (but the benefits are amazing). That's why I was happy to share these Top Tips for Breastfeeding & How to Breastfeed in Public!
For some, it comes very easily and for others, it can have a very rocky start. Even for those whom it seems to come naturally, there can still be some bumps in the road. There were so many things that I thought I knew both from reading and talking to trusted people but, it turns out I didn’t know near as much as I thought.
Top Tips for Breastfeeding
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These are my tips and tricks for any newly breastfeeding Mom to follow. Remember, while breastfeeding is a great way to feed your child, we are always advocates of the adage that fed is best. If you need to pick up a breast pump and bottle feed or supplement with formula, never hesitate to do so. Make sure that your baby is as healthy as possible, and that means feeding your baby no matter what method you use.
Oh, the Advice!
Everyone has mounds of tips and advice to give you (whether you ask or not) and a lot of it may seem quite contradictory depending on who you talk to. When it comes to the overwhelming amount of advice that is bound to come your way, I suggest that you tuck it away for later. However, the only advice I would take soundly is that of your lactation consultant.
The one thing that I heard frequently was that breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt. I learned otherwise, there is pain associated with breastfeeding a new baby. There are several causes for pain and many ways to help with the pain. Just know that it will get better as you and your baby get used to it.
That said, if your body just feels extreme pain, you can rethink breastfeeding by using a pump to bottle feed. There is discomfort involved, but the pain should not be leaving you bruised, bleeding, or in tears.
It is important to make sure that your little one has a proper latch. Without the proper latch, you are sure to feel pain during nursing sessions. I highly suggest talking to a lactation consultant while you are in the hospital.
There are several different possible positions for breastfeeding. You will find that you and your baby will start to favor a position or two over others. While breastfeeding my son he made his own favorite position that worked well for both of us. Just follow the babies lead.
Catch all the Milk
When breastfeeding, it is common to leak milk not only between feedings but also during feedings. Every little drop counts so I highly suggest using the breast milk collector pads instead of breast pads. You can also pump between feedings if needed.
While you are breastfeeding there are foods you should avoid and foods that help your milk production. Other foods may not help your milk supply but, you will feel the best you can and fuel your physical energy. Oatmeal is one of the most popular food choices to have on a regular basis to really boost your milk supply.
Another safe place to ask questions is a peer support group with other breastfeeding Mothers. These women can relate to you on your level and celebrate or sympathize with you like no one else can. They are in the trenches with you and they will ‘get you’.
Through all of this, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right during your breastfeeding journey reach out and ask questions. Never feel bad or guilty for asking for a second opinion if you aren’t satisfied with the answer you were given. Your doctor will likely have a nurse line just for this purpose. They welcome questions and prefer them overseeing something wrong happen because you were afraid to ask.
Breastfeeding in public can be a hot topic however that is not what I’m going for here. With that being said, I’m all for feeding the baby when he or she is hungry. I also believe that it can be done modestly without attracting attention. For most women breastfeeding modestly while in public is pretty easy. However, I was less than graceful about it and could never master it. So below, I created a special section on how to breastfeed in public modestly. I wish I would have had these tips while I was still breastfeeding.
Tips For Breastfeeding In Public Modestly
As a mom who has been breastfeeding her children for years, these tips for breastfeeding in public modestly come from my own personal experiences. Breastfeeding is no easy task and it takes a lot of time and effort. Whenever it comes time to breastfeed in public, it’s easy to get a little nervous. I prefer to cover up when I nurse in public, but not all moms do. If you’re still trying to perfect your breastfeeding style in public, check out these tips.
Sit in the corner of the establishment
Whenever I walk into a restaurant, I always ask for a corner booth or a table away from everyone else. I’m not afraid of people seeing me nurse, but it’s nice to not have the stares from everyone else. Sitting in the corner of an establishment allows you to enjoy a meal with your family without feeling pressure from everyone else. I am proud of my choice to breastfeed, but prefer to remain modest and private.
Wear a tank and an over shirt.
I have found that wearing a tank top and an over shirt has helped me be more modest with nursing. I am big chested and I have a tummy from having four children. I feel less self-conscious if I am covered from all angles. Even if you choose to not cover, which is completely your choice, the baby will be covering your nipple and your shirts will be covering your breast and tummy. Who can really complain about that? There are some excellent nursing tanks to choose from, or a simple classic tank can work depending on your body type and chest size.
Surround yourself with things and people.
Whenever I need to nurse in public and want a bit of privacy, I will surround myself with items and people. I’ll put the infant car seat on the table so it’s blocking me or I’ll have my husband sit in front of me. Sometimes I’ll even lower myself into my chair so the table is blocking me. There are even many nursing cover options you can keep in your diaper bag to help keep you an your baby covered and modest if you prefer. Breastfeeding in public modestly often means using what is most available to help provide cover while my baby is enjoying their meal.
Let me get this straight. I’m not telling any woman to cover up or hide. I’m simply giving advice to those who feel more comfortable being covered up. I am big breasted and like my privacy! Breastfeeding in public modestly can be achieved, and will allow you to continue this wonderful method of feeding your baby and bonding with them.
Breastfeeding is an amazing journey for both you and your baby. There will be bumps in the road and smooth sailing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed and politely decline when necessary. A breastfeeding bond is a special thing just you and your baby will have. No one will be able to experience that with your baby. Make the best of the bumps and soak up the smooth ride for soon, those days will be gone. These breastfeeding tips are just what you need to get started on this wonderful parenting journey.