5 Things That Will Make Breastfeeding Easier
Breastfeeding is not easy - sorry for most it really isn’t. And with all benefits for both mom and baby, becoming a master will take time and patience. There may be plenty of points where you are on the verge of giving up, but don’t fear! Here are 5 things that may make your breastfeeding life a little easier.
#1 Support and Comfort
Comfort is important for both you and baby during breastfeeding. Making sure you have a comfortable chair or bed and finding a position that works best for you can make all the difference. Get yourself a footstool, a stack of pillows, a coffee table or your partner (they’re there to help!) and make sure you’re relaxed.
Baby will also latch best and feed more efficiently when you are comfortable. If your arm gets tired maybe try adding the support of pillows or a folded receiving blanket. There is even breastfeeding pillows on the market to increase comfort for baby, but also mom too. Positioning yourselves nose to nipple, belly to belly will help in getting the most efficient latch.
#2 The Cure of Cool Cabbage
A 2012 study found that cabbage can be a great treatment for painful breast engorgement that can occur after birth. Breasts can become much larger and heavier as they work to produce milk. It was found that chilled cabbage leaves worked as a pain reliever if placed on sore breasts after breastfeeding.
FYI - It did state that further research was needed to confirm it to be a true remedy, but if you’re struggling with sore breasts due to breast engorgement it could be worth a try!
#3 Pump Up The Pumping
Pumping can be a good way to continue feeding breast milk, but you are struggling with the act of breastfeeding. It can relieve sore nipples, frustration, trouble latching and other potential issues. There are tonnes of different breast pumps on the market and it is a hot topic in the baby paraphernalia world, so there will definitely be one that suits you. Lots of breast pumps come with different speeds and settings, allowing you to find which one will suit you best.
Pumping also allows you to have a bit of a break from doing all the feeding. Your partner can take on some of those duties too, allowing you to also rotate night shifts more easily and relieve some of the strain.
#4 Soothe The Soreness
Sore nipples can be one of the most painful parts of breastfeeding, especially when they begin to crack. Lanolin-based creams are proven to be an efficient remedy, but there are many other alternatives and various treatments on the market for soothing sore nipples. Nipple shields can be a great way to protect your sensitive nips from further damage (especially if you can’t be topless all the time) and allow them to recover.
But also remember, sore nipples are typically a latching issue, seek support for this too and you may find your nipples are less sensitive.
#5 Track a Feeding Schedule
According to many sources, feeding your baby according to when they show signs of hunger, rather than following a regimented schedule of meals can be more beneficial. On the other hand, there is no harm in trying to track their eating patterns to help you get a sense of how much and how often they are eating.
After the first few months you may find baby begins to follow more of a pattern of eating and sleeping, so you can expect their meals and naps to form a routine. Super helpful if you go back to work too!! Having to perform the role of an available food source 24/7 is draining, but figuring a schedule may help you feel much more in control.
Do you have any other tips for making breastfeeding a little easier? Make sure you leave them in the comments below and join the discussion on our social channels @lactlscreens or follow #lactl.