Breastfeeding 101: Getting Started

by Elizabeth Peters May 02, 2016

Breastfeeding 101: Getting Started

Despite being nature’s way of feeding your baby, breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally. New breastfeeding Moms deal with a lot of ups and downs, but with some patience and perseverance, you will be a pro in no time. Here are a few tips to help get you started: 

Eat the right foods: The substances you eat pass through you and into your baby through your milk, so it is important to eat the right foods while you are breastfeeding. Eat a diet that is high in green leafy vegetables, calcium, and whole grains. Also be sure to drink plenty of water. And while breastfeeding you should continue to take your prenatal vitamin, as you will need plenty of folic acid and iron while producing milk. 

Keep your milk flowing: Babies need to eat often to satiate their hunger, but also for comfort and to bring in your milk supply. There are some tricks you can use to help keep your milk flowing. Drinking teas and herbs helps increase milk supply as does drinking plenty of water. But the best way to keep your milk supply up is by frequent nursing, especially in the first days after birth. 

Take care of your nipples: Sore or cracked nipples are no fun, so be sure to take preventive measures to ensure you stay pain free. Use lanolin made especially for use on nipples and purchase breast shells to keep your bra from rubbing against your nipples. Make sure you feed your baby with a deep latch, to help prevent forceful sucking.

Make sure your baby is getting enough: It isn’t as easy to keep track of how much milk breastfed babies are receiving as it is with formula fed babies. Since you don’t have the advantage of counting bottles, you will need to pay close attention to your baby’s changing schedule. Make sure your baby is having plenty of wet diapers, preferably one after each feeding. If you notice your baby going long periods of time without needing to be changed, contact your pediatrician to be sure your baby is getting enough to eat. 

When to feed your baby: There isn’t a definite answer as to when or how often you should feed your baby. The feeding schedule will be determined by your baby: you should feed her whenever she demands to eat. Though she may not ingest much milk in the first few days, she will want to feed often. Most newborns will need a feeding every one to three hours. While building your milk supply, wake your baby for a feeding if she sleeps more than three hours during the day or four hours during the night. If she sleeps through a feeding she may wake up too hungry to feed well.           

There may be times in the beginning when you are tempted to give up, but stay strong and keep at it. It will take time for you and your baby to establish a natural rhythm with breastfeeding, but if you keep working on it you will fall into an established pattern and it will become an enjoyable experience for both you and your baby.

if she sleeps more than three hours during the day or four hours during the night. If she sleeps through a feeding she may wake up too hungry to feed well.

There may be times in the beginning when you are tempted to give up, but stay strong and keep at it. It will take time for you and your baby to establish a natural rhythm with breastfeeding, but if you keep working on it you will fall into an established pattern and it will become an enjoyable experience for both you and your baby.




Elizabeth Peters
Elizabeth Peters

Author

Elizabeth Peters is a mother of two and freelance writer who specializes in the parenting/family niche. When she is not writing for clients she can be found blogging about parenting on her own blog at TheMommyVortex.com. She currently resides in Alabama with her husband and two young children. Connect with her on Twitter: @themommyvortex


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