Tips for Breastfeeding Success
The first six weeks are crucial to long-term nursing. Here are the skills you'll need
3.eat and drink
You’ll need even more calories when breastfeeding than while pregnant—about 300 more per day than in the last trimester, even more if you’re exercising. But don’t go overboard; three well-balanced meals a day plus healthful snacks should cover it. Here are tips for making sure you’re getting enough:
- Fill up your pantry before you have the baby. Also ask friends and family to stock your freezer with meals.
- At your baby shower, ask a friend or family member to organize a “food train,” whereby people take turns bringing you home-cooked meals for the first few weeks. After the baby arrives, prepare plates of finger foods (sandwich bites, low-fat cheese, trail mix, vegetables and fruit) to nibble on while you nurse.
- Breast milk is 87 percent water, so drink up. Aim for 13 8-ounce glasses a day.
Most women who stop breastfeeding do so because they think that they aren’t producing enough milk—but inadequate production is rare, Harvey says. If your baby nurses eight to 12 times every 24 hours, has six or more wet diapers and three or more bowel movements daily by day six, he’s getting plenty to eat. Nursing frequently (every one to three hours) should help you establish an ample milk supply. But if you’re particularly concerned about your supply, ask a lactation consultant about trying herbal supplements such as Mothers Milk tea, fenugreek and fennel seed. The effectiveness of these remedies is anecdotal, but many mothers find them helpful.
“New mothers need to be mothered in order to mother their babies,” Lebbing says. Accept help when it’s offered: Let friends and family members do a load of laundry, clean your bathroom or look after the baby while you shower or take a quick walk. Ask a neighbor to watch an older child for a few hours. Also be sure to enlist your partner’s assistance. He can do all of these tasks, for example, or simply help you by holding the baby while you get comfortable and settled to nurse.
6.latch him on
The majority of breastfeeding problems can be prevented with a proper latch. This is how to do it:
- Position your baby on his side so he is directly facing you, with his belly touching yours. Next, prop up the baby with a pillow, if necessary, and hold him up to your breast; don’t lean over toward him or stretch your breast out to him.
- Place your thumb and fingers around your areola (the dark area surrounding your nipple).