Hey new mom! I have been exactly where you are, scourging the interent looking for answers to anything and everything about breastfeeding. Being a new mom is tough. You feel like nothing you do is right and all you want is the best for your baby! I have been breastfeeding for the last 18 months, and I wanted to share my killer breastfeeding knowledge. Starting with the basics!
Breast Feeding Essentials
Having a Boppy was a complete life saver! It made me be able to breastfeed my son hands free. My son would be laying on the pillow, breastfeeding away, and I had full use of my hands to play on my phone, or drink my large water. If I was lucky I would be able to eat, and some of my food may or may not have ended up on my sons head. Sorry, not sorry!
I cannot tell you how many times I had to change the Boppy Cover! You don’t realize how many bodily functions can be expelled from your baby until you see it yourself. If I was lucky my Boppy only had to have a new cover every few days. From Baby Spit Up, to poop explosion. Or Maybe you accidentally dropped some salsa on the Boppy. Which is better than on your babies head right?
Nipple Cream is a must for at least the first month! And longer if you plan to pump. In the beginning your nipples will crack, they will feel like they are on fire. My only saving grace was the relief I got from nipple cream.
Also ice packs didn’t hurt.
You will need a HUGE water bottle. Did anyone tell you how thirsty you get when you breast-feed? Well if they did not, ill tell you. You will be extremely thirsty. Think Sahara Dessert Thirsty.
Imagine you have your baby positioned on the boppy all cozy like and you realize your drink is just out of reach. The world will seem like it has ended lol
Breastfeeding In the Beginning. . .
Starting out breastfeeding I remember having all these worrisome questions. How will I know my baby is getting enough? Does the Nipple Pain get any better? When should I worry about my milk supply? What is cluster feeding? When can I start pumping?
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
When Can I Start Pumping?
A lot of new moms, myself included, wanted to know when to start pumping after giving birth. The recommendation is to wait at least 3-4 weeks, 6 weeks is optimal. The reason behind this is your body has not regulated milk supply yet. Pumping too soon will send signals to your body to make more milk, which yes sounds like a good thing BUT it can lead to an oversupply and that is something you do not want.
An oversupply can lead to mastitis and/or clogged ducts. The first and only clogged duct I ever had woke me for a deep sleep. It was super painful, I took my electric toothbrush to my boob to try and vibrate the clogged duct out, filled one of my sons diapers with hot water and placed it over my breast as a hot pack, and dangle fed my son. I believe it took 24 hours to get the clog out.
Facebook Groups and Breastfeeding
When I was just starting out I joined a ton of breastfeeding groups on facebook. I recommend looking some up and joining! It is a wonderful thing to have a community of people to ask questions to when you are just unsure. Yes google exists ,but sometimes its just nice hearing from another mom.
Be on the lookout for hunger Cues! Looking at your babies hand is a great indicator. An open hand means your baby is content, while a closed hand can mean that they are hungry. But When in doubt whip it out! <- Best Advice! This also helps regulate your supply!
The Reality of Breast Feeding
There are going to be ups and downs. There will be times you want to give up, and call it quits because in all honesty breastfeeding can be mentally and IS physically exhausting.
You GOT this momma. You definitely got this.