Breastfeeding can be a challenge. I’ve known some new moms who have no troubles. Baby latches, there’s no pain, and everything is good! I did not have this experience. The first 2 or 3 weeks were a big struggle for me so I put together a list of my top 5 tips to get through those first weeks.
TIP #1: NIPPLE CARE
Sore, cracked, and even bleeding nipples can be a reality when you’re a new breastfeeding mom. Stock up on lanolin cream and those soothing gel pads you can put in the fridge. I didn’t do this the first time and I was in pain for weeks even though my daughter had a perfect latch. I made sure to use these items the second time around and I healed much faster and kept the painful days to a minimum.
TIP #2: REST
The first few weeks of breastfeeding can be stressful getting into a rhythm and getting to know your newborn. It’s even more stressful when you’re sleep deprived. I always use the first couple weeks to just focus on breastfeeding and rest. Outings will come later. With my first I let my husband take over while I took naps. With my second when it was harder to nap, I made sure to go to bed as early as possible (7 or 8).
TIP #3: HYDRATE/EAT
Breastfeeding makes you HUNGRY! It’s important to eat well and stay hydrated to keep your supply up. Stock up on healthy snacks that you can easily grab. I kept a basket of snacks next to my chair in the living room. I also had a water bottle with me at all times.
TIP #4: FIND SUPPORT
There were a few days when breastfeeding felt so overwhelming I just wanted to stop. In those moments my support system was so important to keep me moving forward and reminding me it wasn’t always going to be this hard. Find someone, your spouse, a friend, a parent, a local breastfeeding support group. Hospitals usually have great support groups. I attended a couple times and it was so nice to be able to get advice from the lactation consultants.
TIP #5: INVEST IN A GOOD COVER
People are going to visit and baby will get hungry. I know some moms aren’t worried about covering up. But I found it so helpful to have a good, comfortable cover to use during those times. Especially when you start going out and about, it made me feel less anxious knowing I had a good cover with me. Our Baby Leche covers are cute, convenient and provide great coverage to allow you to comfortably feed when you have visitors those first few weeks.
Hope you find these tips helpful!