The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Drink Mother's Milk Tea The tea seemed to make everything feel better. It also gave me a moment of peace, a moment for me, a moment for my boobs to recoup.
-- Kirsten Kemp, Santa Barbara, Calif.; mother of Walker, 5; and Nola, 2
Try a massage Once I started to massage (i.e., squeeze!) my breast while pumping, I got so much more milk, and the painful lumps and mastitis finally stopped. The problem, I finally learned, was that I wasn't adequately draining the milk at each feeding or pumping. Another tip: Often while pumping, it seemed like the milk would stop flowing after about five minutes, so I'd stop pumping. Later, I realized that the flow would start up again after about a minute. This also helped to completely drain the breast of milk.
-- Lori Hernando, Holmdel, N.J.; mother of Isabella, 3; and Ava, 1
Break the rules You can try supplemental formula, a pacifier or unusual nursing positions--whatever it takes to keep nursing. Use your instincts, and remember that it will get better.
-- Ellen Macdonald, Pelham, N.Y; mother of Grace and Liam, 8
Don't get dressed at all for the first week This sends a message to your husband and family that you still need to be waited on! Breastfeeding takes patience and perseverance; once the clothes are on, you'll start cooking dinner and taking phone calls ... very bad idea.
-- Deirdre Ryan, Santa Monica, Calif.; mother of Riain, 11; and Seanie, 7
Need to get out of the house? Head to Ikea It has a nursing room, as well as comfortable furniture and toys for older children.
-- Mette Baran, Racine, Wis.; mother of Carlen, 7; and Kaja, 4
Find a private space Nothing is worse than having your mother-in-law hovering over you when you can't get the baby to latch on. If you're new at this, make sure you have a place you can go with the baby to relax.
-- Victoria Clayton, Westlake Village, Calif.; mother of Nicolas, 2
Wear an exercise bra to bed It helped keep my breasts in place and was definitely more comfortable than wearing nothing at all! (Just be sure to remove the bra before nursing; if you pull it up over your breasts, the tight band can cause clogged milk ducts.)
-- Lynn H. Long, Atlantic Beach, Fla.; mother of Emma, 6; and Abby, 4
Keep it in perspective Remember that the first few weeks of breastfeeding are the most difficult. The engorgement and nipple soreness will go away, and it will become much easier for you to feed your baby in the long run.
-- Lori Hernando