Breastfeeding; it’s one of the many new-mother things that doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Even if it did, it looks different for everyone! You can talk to friends, Google “Breastfeeding Tips”, and get help from professionals, but until you find what uniquely works for you and your babe, it can be a bit of a dance to get it running smoothly. Here are some things we wish we would have known when we first started nursing.
Breastfeeding Tips, mom to mom
- Get a night light. When I had my first baby it never occurred to me that I would need to see in the middle of the night 🤪. It was one of the many details I overlooked as a first-timer. The only thing I had on hand was a headlamp cap, so I used that and ended up with the world’s brightest lights blasting at my baby any time he needed to eat. It was a bit of a disaster! Luckily I’ve learned a lot since then, and will not be suggesting a headlamp for you and your babe 😂. With baby number two we wised up and got a dimmable salt lamp, which was the perfect solution! -Rochelle
- Keep W&P wipes by your side. We know we’re biased, but these are srsly the best tool to have in your new mama toolkit. When it comes to breastfeeding, Wild & Pure dry wipes can be used for spit-up messes, unintended drips, and breastfeeding pads on a whim. They are also great for diaper changes and postpartum healing!
- Get a good nipple butter. Listen, breastfeeding is different for everyone. Some mamas don’t experience sore nipples, some do. But we believe that having a good nipple butter on hand can be a lifesaver when you need it. Our absolute fave is Earth Mama Organics. P.S. we also love their Milkmaid Tea, too!
- Always have a water bottle nearby. Breastmilk is made of up to 90% water…from your body!! When that much is going out, lots needs to come in. I was so thirsty in those first few months. I remember being parched every time I sat to nurse, always forgetting my water! I wish. Iwould have been prepared with a bottle full by my side at all times. – Rochelle
- Prioritize flexibility. When sharing our stories and listening to the stories of others, it becomes increasingly clear that everyone’s breastfeeding experience looks different. And hardly any unfold in the way that mamas expect them to — for better or for worse. So many tears and anxiety can be avoided when flexibitly and trust become priority. Know that any time you go off path from your plans, it’s only to take you in a direction better than you could ever imagine. You’ve got this!
Breastfeeding terms to know
Cluster Feeding – a period of time when a pattern deveoples with many feedings close together. It can be. a bit demanding on mama, but will adjust after baby grows through the pattern.
Colostrum –The first form of milk produced by mammals, directly after giving birth. It is a golden color and particularly nutrient-dense in comparison to more mature milk.
Hindmilk –The high-fat, high-calorie milk that baby gets at the end of a breastfeeding session. It is a richer and creamier milk than that which baby gets at the beginning of a feeding, called foremilk, which is said to have a higher water content.
IBCLC – A certified healthcare professional specifically trained In the clinical management and support of breastfeeding. They are Internationally recognized breastfeeding experts!
Inverted/flat nipples – nipples that cave inward or lay flat, rather than protruding outward. While not always the case, inverted or flat nipples may interfear with baby’s ability latch, and silicone nipple shield can sometimes be a helpful remedy.
Latch – The way in which the baby’s mouth attaches to the breast. A “good latch” is the foundation of a successful breastfeeding experience and can be affected by many factors.
Let Down – the muscular reaction of releasing milk when the nipple of a lactating breast is stiumlated. It can sometimes come with a tingling or uncomfortable sensation.
Mastitis – an illness caused by an infection from a clogged milk duct. The clog typically results in inflammation, flu-like symptoms, and sometimes a rash. Experts suggest continuing to nurse on the infected breast, along with heat and massage to clear the duct.
Thrush – a yeast infection of the mouth, caused by an overgrowth of candida. It results in white patches throughout the mouth. It can be passes between nipple and baby, and visa versa. Because it can create irritation of the mouth and throat, it can cause discomfort with nursing.
Tongue tie – A condition where an unusually tight, thick, or short band of tissues restricts the tongue’s range of motion. May also occur near the upper lip as a lip tie. Both conditions can effect latch.