How to Breastfeed: A Guide for First Time Moms

Welcome to Motherhood!

With your new arrival comes immense joy and everlasting love. But, the new responsibility can also feel overwhelming for new moms.

Your baby needs to eat often, and your body does not come with a manual, so we decided to make one for you! Read on to learn how to breastfeed!

Calm Down

Late nights, early mornings, and a whole new human who depends solely on you is enough to rattle anybody’s nerves. Especially if you find breastfeeding difficult.

You learned all of the important reasons to breastfeed. This may increase the worry about you getting it right.

You may worry that your little one will not get enough to eat or that this makes you a bad mom. But calm your worries, because many women struggle at first.

Worrying will reduce milk supply or stop it from letting down. Stress activates your sympathetic nervous system and triggers a fight or flight response.

Your body releases adrenaline. This chemical inhibits oxytocin, which you need for supplying milk.

Take a deep breath. When you feel flustered, try a quick meditation to call on your parasympathetic nervous system for a quick calming effect.

Close your eyes and slowly inhale, keeping your attention on your breath. When your lungs fill, pause for four seconds. Slowly exhale, until your lungs empty, pause, and repeat once or twice more.

Position Baby

Find a position that feels natural for both you and your baby. Cradling baby in the crook of your arm works for many moms.

A C-section can make positioning difficult. Try a football hold with the baby tucked along the side of your arm, head in your hand. Or, lay your child beside you and use your bottom breast to feed them as you lay parallel.

A cross-cradle may work better for premies or babies with a weak latch. Cradle them with their feet away from your body rather than across it.

The Latch On

If the little one does not latch, your milk will not flow. First-time parents can struggle with this initially.

Pinch your fingers on the outside of your areola and tickle the baby’s top lip with your nipple. If they do not latch, tilt them slightly.

Painful Breasts

Milk engorgement hurts. Pump if your baby is not hungry and your breasts feel full. Massage your breasts with a Lavie massager to soften them, unclog ducts, and relieve discomfort.

Your nipples may also hurt and bleed. Keep them covered with lanolin cream and always switch sides when feeding.

Increasing Milk Supply

Stay hydrated so your body can produce enough fluid. Eat balanced meals to keep up your energy.

Pump between feedings if your milk supply seems low. Breastfeeding tips like this may sound counterintuitive for beginners. But, the more milk you put out, the more your body produces to keep up with the baby’s needs.

Now You Know How to Breastfeed

We gave you the basics of how to breastfeed. Now, allow your instincts to take over. You’ve got this, momma!

Living well becomes more important than ever when you enter into parenthood. Your child needs you. Find important health tips on our website so you can stay strong for them.

By Malik