Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can give yourself and your newborn. Before the baby is even born, you can prepare for breastfeeding. If this is your first time, the first step is realizing that you are going to breastfeed. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking isn’t it? Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it.
Here are few tips to help you as you prepare and begin breastfeeding. If you have a game plan before you begin, this can help you as you try to breastfeed. Remember, after you’ve had a baby, you want that little one to latch on as quickly as possible.
• Every nurse has their own method of how to breastfeed. They often will come in and help you if you need the assistance. If you don’t need help, feel free to tell them you are doing ok on your own.
• After your baby is born, begin trying to breastfeed as soon as possible. Your newborn probably won’t latch on right away, but the more times you try, the quicker he/she will learn how to latch on to your nipple.
• Circle your hands around your nipple and maneuver so your baby’s mouth can latch on to the nipple. This may take some practice, but trust your instincts and keep trying.
• Stay hydrated. Make sure you drink lots of fluids as soon as the baby is born. This applies to your entire breastfeeding journey. Drinking water is important to your breastfeeding experience.
• After the baby is born, limit how many people you allow to visit you. This will allow more opportunities to breastfeed. Let’s face it. When you are first attempting to breastfeed, you don’t want a slew of visitors arriving. Prepare ahead of time by limiting the visitors who will visit.
• Make time to bond with the baby. Sometimes, we have so many people who want to see the baby; it is hard to really have mother and father bonding time. The first hour after the baby is born, don’t allow any visitors at all. Use this time to bond with the baby. Take pictures. Talk to the baby. Whatever you did is up to you. The important thing is just bonding with that newborn.
• Babies want to eat. They naturally know that they are hungry. This is wonderful because now you can learn about your baby at the same time he/she learns about you.
• Learn a sleeping rhythm with your baby. As your baby sleeps, use this time to sleep as well. Giving birth to a baby is exhausting so utilize sleep whenever you can get it.
• If possible, sleep right beside your baby. This allows you to learn the baby’s movements and really get into tune with him/her. Also, this allows you to sleep and breastfeed without moving from the bed.
• When first breastfeeding, allow the baby to breastfeed whenever he/she wants. Don’t put restrictions as you might when he/she is older. Let the baby learn to breastfeed and enjoy the comforts as needed. There will be time for restricting later on. For now, just allow them to get used to breastfeeding. Position a pillow underneath your elbow to give you extra support. It can become tiresome holding the baby. Find a pillow that can become your breastfeeding pillow.