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  • Jenna Papaioannou

3 essential tips for breastfeeding mothers

Becoming a new mom is a joyous yet challenging journey, and breastfeeding can be one of the most rewarding but difficult parts. Here are three essential tips to help you navigate this beautiful experience:

1. Perfect the Latch

A good latch is crucial for successful breastfeeding. A proper latch minimizes discomfort for you and ensures your baby gets enough milk. Here’s a few tips on how to achieve it:

  • Positioning: Hold your baby close with their tummy against yours! This is major. Often this is the #1 tweak I do for a new parent. Think about your own body alignment when you're drinking. Wouldn't it be uncomfortable to turn your head 90* and drink with your head to the side?

  • Mouth Open Wide: Wait for your baby to open their mouth wide like a yawn. Aim your nipple toward the roof of their mouth.

  • Lips Flared: Try to have your baby’s lips flared outwards, like a fish. Bonus points if their chin touches your breast.

2. Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Breastfeeding demands a lot of energy and nutrients, so taking care of your own diet and hydration is vital. Your body needs extra calories to produce milk, so don’t shy away from eating a bit more than usual:

  • Hydrate: Keep a water bottle handy and drink every time you nurse. There's something to the Stanley-mom culture!

  • Nutritious Snacks: Opt for healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, and yogurt to keep your energy levels up.

  • Balanced Meals: Aim for a balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and vegetables.

Try not to focus so much on the "lactation cookies" and the excessive drinking of Body Armor. While they're totally fine to consume, don't put so much stock into having those foods "fix" your supply.

3. Seek Support and Rest

Breastfeeding is emotionally and physically taxing. By seeking support and ensuring you get enough rest, you’ll be better equipped to handle the demands of breastfeeding. You’re not alone:

  • Breastfeeding specialist: If you’re having trouble, consult a breastfeeding expert who can provide personalized guidance.

  • Join a Support Group: Connecting with other breastfeeding moms can offer encouragement and practical tips.

  • Rest: Rest and lie down when your baby is napping. Rest is crucial for milk production and your overall well-being. If you can't actually fall asleep because of short naps or you're stuck holding your newborn it is a perfect time to do some meditation, deep breathing, reading, and of course an episode (or two!) of reality tv.

Breastfeeding is a learning process for both you and your baby. With patience, practice, and the right support, you’ll find your rhythm. Happy nursing!

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