Women have been breastfeeding their newborn children since the beginning of time. Even the introduction of the feeding bottle in the mid-19th century couldn’t stray mothers from the traditional method. Today, half of all women opt to breastfeed their babies if possible.
With all of this experience, you’d think we’d have breastfeeding down to a science. The truth is breastfeeding can be difficult. That’s where our experts come in.
At Women’s Health Services, our experienced team of doctors knows breastfeeding is an exciting experience that can bring you even closer to your new baby. But it can also be a scary and uncertain process, especially if it’s your first time.
Breastfeeding offers many benefits to both you and your newborn. Your milk provides a customized concoction of nutrients that are easy for your baby to digest. This gives your baby certain health benefits like immune system-supporting antibodies they won’t be able to get anywhere else.
You also get to experience a special sort of bonding with your child and maybe even shed a few baby-weight pounds.
You’ll likely start your first feeding within an hour of delivery and the first few weeks will be a frenzy of feedings and diaper changes. After four to six weeks, you’ll notice your baby develops a more consistent feeding routine.
From latching issues to clogged ducts, there are several things that can go wrong. The good news is our providers can help. Here’s our best advice on how to get through breastfeeding as painlessly as possible.
#1 Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Breastfeeding is likely one of the first things you’ll do after giving birth in the hospital. When you’re surrounded by nurses and lactation consultants, it's a good time to ask for help. They can provide direction on correct positioning to ensure your baby latches on correctly and gets the most out of each feeding.
#2 Don’t stress
It can be frustrating when breastfeeding doesn’t seem to work and even more concerning when it seems like your baby is actually losing weight.
The best thing to remember is that every baby is different. If it’s not working now, a little persistence and some expert guidance will get you back on the right path.
You’ll know it’s working when your breasts feel softer after feeding, your baby is producing approximately six wet diapers per day, and your baby is gaining steady weight.
#3 Don’t forget self-care
Your body isn’t just working for you anymore, so taking care of yourself is more important now. This means going on a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and resting whenever you can.
If you smoke, do your best to stop. Talk to your doctor about any medications you’re taking that could be impacting you, your milk, or your baby.
It’s also time to put more focus on your nipples. It’s natural for your nipples to become dry and cracked. Sometimes letting your milk dry on your nipples can be soothing, but purified lanolin also works in a pinch.
Don’t let the worry of what could go wrong deter you from breastfeeding your baby. We’re here to support you from your first feeding to your last, and we’re dedicated to making breastfeeding a wonderful experience for both you and your baby.
If you have questions or need additional support, contact our friendly staff to schedule an appointment today.