While getting ready for help with breastfeeding the second time, I wanted to summarize all that has helped me the first time including what I have learned from my lactation consultant. And thought this would help the new moms or the expecting moms in their journey. You might also want to check what helped me breastfeed my baby.
I want to restate the fact that breastfeeding is not easy. We have a list of things to worry about – latching, engorgement, positioning, managing milk supply, and so on. Honestly, though it is natural, it does not mean it comes naturally.
Typically, I am one of those people who does not like to ask for help and mostly I like to figure things out on my own. But when I was pregnant, more than labour breastfeeding was a horror. I always thought it is painful or not easy and felt really weird talking to anyone about it.
Luckily, I had a lactation consultant who helped me with some tips & tricks.
Here is what helped me breastfeed my baby:
1. Help with understanding demand-supply (Only golden way to maintain supply!)
It is very important to understand the demand-supply dynamics while getting ready to breastfeed. It is quite natural to think the body will start making milk soon after the baby is born. At least that is what I thought. Little did I know the connection between the baby & my body. And the body will only make milk only if there is demand (which only the baby can signal).
Feeding a baby round the clock is the only sure shot way to increase or keep up your milk supply. The more often you empty the milk, it signals the body to make more milk. So make sure to put the baby on the breast more often & pump any missed feeding. No lactation cookie or any substitute can do the magic that the baby can do.
2. Understanding the golden hour to breastfeed
Nursing the baby immediately after the baby is born helps you a lot in your nursing journey. Lots of skin to skin & feeding babies when they are active has a huge impact on milk production. Read more fascinating facts about The Golden hour & bonding here.
3. Learn about breastfeeding positions that can help with breastfeeding
They say breastfeeding should not hurt. ‘There will surely be some discomfort & soreness in the beginning but nursing your baby should not hurt’ – these were exact words from my lactation consultant. It took me a week or two to settle down & get comfortable – well, the only thing that helped me was the position. Know the positions, try different positions to nurse & pick the one that works best for you to nurse comfortably.
4. How can Haakaa help with breastfeeding?
My nursing journey started with engorgement. And it was painful. With my daughter, my milk came in within 24 hours of postpartum & it was painful because the baby was too small to empty all the milk that was coming – in short, I struggled with oversupply.
I had to struggle with engorgement every other day & my baby struggled to keep up with the overactive letdowns. That is when my lactation consultant suggested I use Haakaa to relieve some engorgement & promised that the milk should regulate on its own by week 8. From then on, Haakaa has been my best friend in my nursing journey.
5. How do you make sure the baby is getting enough?
As a new mom & breastfeeding for the first time, I always had this question – is my baby getting enough milk? Or if I am overfeeding the baby and so on. My lactation consultant gave me a tip on this. The only way to know the baby is getting enough is by looking for these signs – Baby has a good amount of wet & dirty diapers, the baby is gaining weight, you feel light after the feeding session & baby can sleep well after a sufficient feed. That is when I started tracking all the feeding & diaper change sessions on the Baby Tracker app.
6. Help with breast milk storage while breastfeeding
Since I was making more milk than what my baby needed, my midwife & lactation consultant recommended collecting all the extra milk & storing it for future use. I had all sorts of questions on how to store, where to store, how long can it be stored, so on & so forth. You do get breast milk storage bags that are safe to store milk.
And here are the detailed guidelines on storage. I never got to the pump. If you are a pumping mom, these guidelines will come handily. Storing always helps you in the long run. If you are an oversupplied mom like me, you can also use some tips from my article on my journey as a Milk donor here (link coming soon).
7. Asking for help with breastfeeding
I am glad I asked for help during the start of my breastfeeding journey – successfully nursed Miraya for 13 months and hope to last longer with my next baby. I cannot be thankful enough & can definitely not imagine what my journey would look like if I did not take help from my mom, midwife, lactation consultant & my breastfeeding buddy.
There is a lot of help offered at breastfeeding clinics from the Peel region free of cost for new moms. Also not to forget about my favourite Breastfeeding course, I still log on when I am in doubt or have questions about breastfeeding. You can never get enough help when it comes to breastfeeding.
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