Breastfeeding Basics

    Breastfeeding is natural and baby is born rooting for the breast, so why is breastfeeding so hard for some women? There are many horror stories when it comes to those first weeks of breastfeeding and many mothers choose to switch from breastfeeding to bottle feeding because they can’t get the hang of it in the first week or so. New mothers must remember that baby is new at breastfeeding. With a few basic tips, new mothers can ease into breastfeeding and create lasting memories of quiet time with baby.

    Attend a Breastfeeding Class Before Baby is Born

    Breastfeeding basics are taught at breastfeeding classes. Wait until the final weeks before baby is born to attend class; information will be fresh in the mind when baby arrives. Breastfeeding classes introduce new positions and latching techniques, but they also give new mothers a chance to learn tricks of the trade. Write down questions you have about breastfeeding between classes to get the most out of the experience. Fathers should also attend breastfeeding classes so they can learn how to help you achieve proper latching and enjoy the breastfeeding experience.

    Take it Easy and Relax

    Stress is the first reaction many new mothers feel when baby won’t latch on properly. When you feel stress your body tenses and your mind is muddled and unable to concentrate on breastfeeding. Some mothers also report letting down less milk when stressed, so maybe baby is not latching properly because there is not enough milk coming from the breast.

    Breastfeeding time should be quiet time until baby gets the hang of latching onto the breast. Sit in a comfortable chair and use a breastfeeding pillow to hold baby’s weight. Concentrate on helping baby latch onto the nipple and areola. If baby seems too excited to latch properly, try introducing the breast before baby is crying with hunger. When baby is calmer, latching is easier. Another important tip is to breastfeed with skin to skin contact. Research has shown babies are less stressed when in contact with mom’s skin.

    Leave the World Behind

    When breastfeeding baby it is important to be completely focused on the experience, at least for the first few weeks. Leave your cell phone behind (on silent) and turn off the television. Listen to calming music and focus on baby. If you give breastfeeding your complete attention, you’ll learn how to bond with baby faster and baby will feel safe and secure in your attentive arms.