Following is a collection of breastfeeding advice that I received from others or that I’ve learned on my own during my time nursing (so ar more than eight months). Keep in mind that each baby is different, but this stuff has been helpful for me.
*Try different positions (even make up your own if you need to) in order to find what works best for you and your baby. The cradle and cross-cradle holds never worked well for us in the beginning, but the football and side-lying positions were much better.
*Having the support of those around you is crucial. The Husband was endlessly supportive and helped make things easier. For example, he would take Baby B if we were trying to nurse and were getting frustrated, which gave me a moment to re-compose myself and get in a better frame of mind. He would offer to refill my drink or otherwise made sure I was comfortable.
*BF can be HARD at first. They always say if you’re doing it right, it shouldn’t hurt, which is true, but what they forget to mention is that there will probably be a period where it does hurt as you and the baby both are learning what to do. At one point I was crying every time Baby B would want to eat, which often was every hour in the beginning. My nipples were cracked and bleeding. It was hard for me to see that there would ever be a time when it would be easier, but it started getting easier after the first 2 or 3 weeks.
*Check the positioning of the baby’s lips and tongue to make sure the latch is correct (lips flaring out like a fish and tongue under breast).
*Feed on demand at first and don’t worry too much about setting a schedule. Sometimes the baby will want to eat every 1 or 2 hours, and that’s okay. Sometimes it’ll be every 3 or 4 hours, and that’s okay. Getting in tune with what your baby wants without imposing a schedule will help you with setting a schedule later on.
*Set goals for yourself, both long-term and short-term. It’s good to have in mind how long you’d like to breastfeed, but also having shorter-term goals can help take a little pressure off. And in the beginning when it’s often tough, sometimes it’s all you can do to make it to the next feeding–let alone a year down the road–so focus just on that feeding you’re on and worry about other feedings later.
*Kellymom.com is a great source for breastfeeding informaton.
*Before you sit down to nurse, remember to grab a few things you might want–a drink, a snack, the phone, a book, the remote control–to keep nearby. A burp cloth and a washcloth are handy, too.
*If your baby spits up a lot, put a receiving blanket over your nursing pillow so you don’t have to wash the cover as often.
*In the beginning, your baby may want to nurse for 30 minutes to an hour at a time, which doesn’t leave much time in between feedings if the baby is eating fairly often. Your baby will become more efficient with eating as time goes on.
*If nursing in public, stick a corner of a blanket under your bra to keep it from slipping off your shoulder.
*If I have to nurse in public, I prefer to do it in the car, which I pull away from other cars in a parking lot for a little privacy. This way I can feel a little more relaxed, it’s much better than a bathroom, and I can listen to some tunes while doing it.