The Ultimate Guide to Ensure Your Breastfeeding Success

Breastfeeding

Photo credit: Mattiao147 via Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

Breastfeeding sounds simple enough until you are actually laying in a hospital bed and the nurse hands you a tiny newborn. In that moment, getting the life-sustaining liquid into your baby’s body is completely dependent on you. Any mom who has attempted breastfeeding knows breastfeeding requires some serious finesses. This ultimate guide to ensure your breastfeeding success is packed with 20 practical tips, including 6 tricks to keep a sleepy newborn awake for a full feeding.

The Ultimate Guide to Ensure Your Breastfeeding Success: 20 Tips and Tricks

1. Full feelings

Try to give your baby a full feeding each time she eats. Typically, the main deterrent from being able to get a full feeding in with a newborn is that the baby falls asleep while eating. Utilize the tips for keeping her awake listed below.

2. Feed baby every 2-3 hours

When your baby is a newborn, try to feed him every 2-3 to three hours. This will help build your milk production  to promote breastfeeding success, in addition to helping prevent your baby from getting jaundice. If you stick to this frequency, you should be able to get in 8-10 feedings per 24-hour period. To read more about the baby’s eating, sleeping, and awake time schedule, check out the Survival Guide for the Sleep Deprived Parent: 7 Strategies to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night.

3. Check the baby’s body alignment

A common mistake while feeding the baby in the cradle and cross-cradle positions is to have the baby’s head facing in, but the belly facing up toward the sky. This quickly becomes uncomfortable for the baby’s neck, and will result in shorter feedings. A quick fix for this is to make sure the baby’s face and belly are both facing in towards you.

4. Lactation consultant

While you are still in the hospital, request to see the lactation consultant. This person can be a tremendous resource. Getting her expert opinion on how the baby is latching and her suggestions for any needed adjustments can be monumental for your breastfeeding success.

5. Burp the baby often

Burping the baby often has several benefits. It can help keep the baby awake between switching sides, prevent the baby from getting gas, and keep the baby from spitting up.

6. Use an app to track feedings

It is easy to lose track of feedings when you are doing it 8-10 times a day. Using an app to record feeding times and lengths is a huge help.

7. Keep hydrated

One of the most important things you can do for yourself and the baby is to drink plenty of water.

8. Lanolin cream

The trick to keeping ahead of sore nipples is to begin using lanolin cream after each feeding. Gradually decrease your use as your body adjusts.

9. Nursing pillow

Using a nursing pillow can help reduce the strain on your back and keep the baby positioned correctly. For a comprehensive list of what you really need during the baby’s first week home for baby and for the mama, click here.

10. Squeeze

If you are engorged, your baby may have difficulty latching. If you squeeze just above and below the nipple while feeding, it will help allow your baby to latch.

11. Push down

If you want your baby to get more milk while breastfeeding, you can take your finger and push on your skin from the top of your breast down towards the nipple. Using this stroking motion will push down more milk than the baby might get by just sucking.

12. Mothers milk tea

Drinking Mother’s Milk Tea may help milk production.

13. Nursing area

Before you bring the baby home, it is helpful to have an area prepared with nursing items such as: nursing pillows, burp clothes, lanolin, nursing pads, water, snacks, and a flashlight.

14. Connect with other moms

There are several ways to connect with other moms. You can join the La Leche League, find a support group on Facebook, join a local moms club, or seek out other mothers of young children.

Photo credit: c r z via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: c r z via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Tips for Breastfeeding Success: Keeping a Sleepy Baby Awake

15. Use skin-to-skin contact

One way to encourage your baby wake up is down dressing them to their diaper and placing them on your bare skin.16. Change diaper

16. Change diaper

Another tip for waking your baby up is to change his diaper.

17. Rub under your baby’s chin

If your baby stops sucking but is not done breastfeeding, rub under her chin with your finger a few times.

18. Pull baby close to your body

Pull the baby gently in towards your body a few times, in a soft squeezing motion.

19. Hold baby away from your body

Hold the baby away from your body with both hands, keeping one hand securely under his head and the other under his bottom. This will cause the baby just enough instability to wake him up.

20. Offer a sample

Hand express a drop of milk so that when your baby attempts to latch, she can taste the breast milk right away. Doing this should entice her to nurse.

What is your breastfeeding goal?

P.S. You may also enjoy Baby’s First Week Home: What You Really Need to Buy. In this piece, you will find the absolute must-have items for baby and mom. “Having a baby will bring a whole new dose of glorious reality into your life. You’ll have questions about what you need for the baby, for the house, and for yourself. You’ll have friends, family members, and advertisements telling you what you absolutely must buy before bringing your baby home. On top of that all, you will probably be tired from pregnancy and your postpartum recovery. So I put this list together to help you sort out the real necessities for bringing baby home!”

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Photo credit: c r z via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

7 comments

  1. Love these tips! I nursed my oldest until he was 18 months and now am nursing my 4 month old. I was never sure how I would like it/if I would stick to it, but it’s one of my favorite parts of having a baby. All of these tips are SO helpful. I was very lucky to have both of my boys latch easy and eat well, but I would definitely add learning cues! It’s super helpful in the beginning to learn hunger cues of baby since sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s bothering a baby.

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