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Breastfeed: Don't give up before you try these tipsFebruary 13, 2018

Breast feeding can be difficult. Sometimes, you will just want to give up. Hang in there. Try these out

1. Be a Little Patient While Your Milk Comes In

At about 32 weeks of pregnancy, most moms begin to produce colostrum. Colostrum is a nutrient-rich, syrupy, pre-milk that the baby needs in its first few days of life. After two to three days your body typically starts producing milk; however, it can take five or six days for some moms. If you still are not producing milk, meet a lactation consultant.

2. Go Skin-To-Skin

This is self explanatory. Place your unclothed baby on your bare chest when she’s fussy or struggling to feed. You can cover up with a blanket if you have company. The close contact will calm the baby and help prompt feeding instincts.

3. Know That Newborns Nurse A Lot

Newborns are constantly hungry, and that's OK. Breastmilk is the perfect food for babies, and is quickly digested. A new born’s tummy the size of an egg, so obviously babies will need to feed often. Frequent nursing means the breasts work on supply and demand. The greater the demand, the more milk your body will produce. Your baby is helping your body to learn how much milk it needs to make. So grab a seat and relax. You're going to be here for a while.

4. Create a breastfeeding station

Speaking of relaxing, designate an area for undisturbed feeding. Set up a breastfeeding station and know that you are going to spend a lot of time here. If you’ve had a c-section, make sure you are in a position that won’t strain your stitches. Some music, a large bottle of water, a notebook to track feedings, light and airy room, a bin to put wet/dirty diapers, breast pads and pillows. Point is, feeding should be a comfortable experience. Having some white noise like a TV or a radio on, even if the baby drifts asleep, means your baby won’t be a light sleeper.

5. Try Not to Worry Too Much About Supply

One of the difficulties in breastfeeding is not having a way of seeing how much milk your baby is getting. When your baby seems like she's always hungry, it's easy to worry you're not making enough milk. How much milk you can pump is not at all related to how much milk your baby is getting. As long as your baby is making at least five or six wet diapers a day, your supply is just fine.

6. Avoid comparisons.

Another common worry is mothers compare with other moms feeding. Each baby’s nursing relationship is unique. Some moms produce more, some need help, some others have too little. Expected your nursing experience to be like your friend’s will only stress you out and reduce your existing supply.

7. Learn to Love Cluster Feedings

Over time, when the baby has growth spurts, they will need more frequent feed. Instead of worrying about these “cluster feedings”. Instead of worrying, enjoy it. Cluster feedings have more to do with times of rapid change than with your supply. Growth spurts usually last two or three days and happen at about 1 week old, 3 weeks old, 6 weeks old, and again at 3, 4, 6, and 9 months old. Added bonus, when the cluster feedings are finally over, your milk supply will have increased.

8. Drink Often

It takes a lot of water to make milk. Until your body regulates and figures out exactly what it's doing, you're going to need a lot of water. Keep a bottle full of water at arm’s reach at all times, especially when you are feeding. Let your partner know that there may be a night when you're going to have to wake him up to get you some water. It won't make it any easier for him to get up, but at least it won't be a complete surprise. And no, drinking "too much" water won't make your milk watery.

9. Work with Inverted Nipples

Many women with flat or inverted nipples are told they will never be able to breastfeed successfully. While it may be more difficult at first, it is definitely not impossible. Nipple shields are fitted covers that help stimulate the baby's sucking reflex. Over time breast tissue will adjust and release an inverted nipple. Nipple shield users should always work with a lactation specialist to help determine when it's the right time to wean an infant from using a shield.

10. Discuss Breastfeeding Expectations With Your Partner Before the Baby is Here

No preparation, dedication or determination you have, there will come a time when you want to give up nursing. It might be your third night with only two hours of sleep, or your fourth hour straight of nursing, but when it happens, if your partner says, "That’s it, let’s start formula," your body will begin giving up even before you gave it a proper chance. Before the baby is born, discuss your desire to breastfeed. Let your partner know that you're probably going to have a moment of doubt. Instead of a short term remedy of reducing breast feed, let him remind you the long term benefits for your baby and you.

Practice Makes Perfect

It takes time to figure everything out. So go easy on yourself. Thanks to Photoshop, pictures of moms looking lovingly at their bundles of joy make it look like it's the easiest thing in the world. Breastfeeding is a huge adjustment and can take a lot of time. The beauty of breastfeeding is that after you and baby figure out how to latch, how to hold, what to eat, what to drink, and how to sit, one day, you'll realize you're doing something amazing, and it's all been totally worth it.

Mrinalini Dubey

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