Our Top Breastfeeding Tips
So you plan to breastfeed your baby—but where do you start? If this is your first child, you may not know the basics of breastfeeding and pumping. Fortunately, you have a friend in The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado. We serve Fort Collins and Loveland, CO families with breastfeeding support and an array of other services. Our team can provide you with all the information you need to make sure your first time breastfeeding goes smoothly. We can also help you navigate problems if they arise and help you make the process easier. Read up on our tips below or give us a call.
Know How Often to Breastfeed
A newborn will need to breastfeed every three hours or so. But with that in mind, let your baby tell you when they need to breastfeed. Stay vigilant for signs of hunger, including restlessness and sucking motions. Your baby will likely have their own, unique ways of communicating with you, so make sure to stay tuned in to their movements.
Understand How Diet Affects Breastfeeding
A healthy diet is imperative to successful breastfeeding. Your breastfeeding diet should consist of lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In addition, make sure to drink lots of fluids, such as water, juice, or milk. You don’t heed to avoid caffeine altogether, but it’s a good idea to only consume moderate amounts. If you choose to drink alcohol, don’t breastfeed your baby for at least two hours after the drink.
Look for Support
Maybe you have a friend who breastfed their baby, or maybe your mother is happy to help you learn about breast pumping. But if you need a little extra support, don’t hesitate to reach out to our lactation consultant. Professionals can help you address issues along the way and make sure you understand the how to’s of breastfeeding.
Prepare for Breastfeeding Beforehand
Make sure you have a comfortable, consistent space to breastfeed. This area should be complete with a comfortable chair, extra pillows, and a table close by. You may even want to keep some books in the space since you’ll be sitting in one place for quite a while. Consider getting back pillows and neck pillows to make breastfeeding as comfortable as possible for you.
Guide Your Baby into the Right Position
Babies can be incredibly self-sufficient. They likely won’t need too much help learning to breastfeed, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your baby finds the correct position. First, make sure that the baby is positioned level with your nipple. Your baby shouldn’t have to turn their head, but it should be tilted slightly back. Once they latch onto your nipple, their chin should rest against your breast so they can still breathe through their nose. You won’t need to force a breastfeeding baby into position—more often than not, they figure it out on their own!
Don’t Neglect Self-Care
Having a newborn means sleepless nights and days spent thinking about their wellbeing. But you shouldn’t compromise your own self-care while juggling motherhood. Breastfeeding can dry out the skin on your breasts, so you should take a few measures after nursing to ensure your skin stays healthy. Here are a few ways you can avoid irritated, chapped skin:
- Don’t shower more than twice per day
- Only use gentle soaps
- Pat your breasts dry with a soft cloth after nursing
- Apply specially-made moisturizers after feeding
- Let your breasts air out when you can
How to Avoid Engorgement
Engorgement is a problem that many mothers don’t think about until it’s happening. This term refers to the swelling and hardening of breasts that are too full with milk. Engorgement can be painful, and it’s more common than you may think. You can alleviate engorgement by gently massaging the areola between your fingers. Some women find relief after taking a warm shower, but others look to breast pumps to remove excess milk. Our team can help you identify the best solution for you.
Have a Question? Reach Out to Us
Motherhood has no shortage of challenges, but The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado is here to take some of the stress off you. We’ll help you navigate the ups and downs of breastfeeding, making sure you feel confident as you feed your new child. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to contact our team. We’re proud to have helped so many Fort Collins and Loveland families.