Breastfeeding is a natural process, but unfortunately, it sometimes comes less naturally for some new mom’s. While the first few weeks may be a challenge, you and your baby will settle into a rewarding breastfeeding relationship with some practice.
If you are struggling with breastfeeding, it’s always best to work with a certified lactation consultant or other medical professional to help you get on the right track. To locate a lactation consultant in your area and receive local support, the La Leche League is a great resource.
A good latch is vital for breastfeeding and many breastfeeding issues stem from latching issues. Visit the following resources for support on getting a good latch while breastfeeding.
Even if you aren’t able to be with baby all of the time or are returning to work, you can still breastfeed. Just like breastfeeding, learning to use a breastpump can take some practice.
While a poor latch is often the cause of sore nipples, even with a good latch, a mother’s nipples may take some time to adjust to the process. Natural products that are safe for both mom and baby can help soothe sore nipples.
Nipple Creams: Apply these directly to nipples to help with soreness or cracked nipples. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions, but most nipple creams are safe for baby to ingest.
Nursing Pads: Nursing pads provide both absorption to help with any leaking as well as soft comfort to avoid sore nipples being irritated further. Reusable pads are washable and easy to use.
Milk supply can be affected by latching problems, lack of proper hydration, or poor nutrition. Work with a lactation consultant to address those issues first if you are struggling with a low breast milk supply.
Natural Supplements: Herbal teas and supplements can help some women boost their breastmilk in conjunction with a good breastfeeding routine and hydration.
While no special clothing is required to breastfeed, many mom’s find that nursing clothing can make the process simpler and more convenient.
Nursing Bras: Nursing bras are specially designed to support breasts properly during breastfeeding. In addition, they often include a quick access clasp on the strap to conveniently allow you to breastfeed while wearing the bra.
A proper fitting nursing bra will provide proper support and comfort. Follow the steps below to determine your proper bra size.
Use a flexible tape measure and measure just above your breasts, under your armpits, and around your back in a complete circle .This will determine the length of band needed (ex: 34, 36)
Use a flexible tape measure and measure around your breasts at the their fullest point (directly over the breasts), and around your back in a complete circle. To determine your cup size, find the difference between your band size measurement and your cup size measurement. Use the difference between the two measurements and the table below to determine your cup size. (Example: Band Size Measurement = 36, Cup Size Measurement = 39. Subtract the band size measurement from the cup size measurement to find the difference. 39-36= 3. Using the chart below as guide, you would be shopping for a bra size of 36C.)
Nursing Tank Tops: Similar to nursing bras, nursing tank tops have a quick access clasp on the strap enabling you to comfortably and easily nurse while wearing the tank top. Great for wearing alone or layering and stretchy and comfortable to wear.
Pumping Bras: If you are a using a breast pump, pumping bras can provide you a hands free pumping experience. They allow you to attach the breast shields to the bra while pumping, allowing you to use a phone, computer, or read a book while pumping.
Nursing Covers: Some women prefer a more discreet option while nursing in public. Nursing covers are a fashionable and comfortable option for keeping yourself covered while nursing.