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Best Breastfeeding Tips!
~ A Message Board Archive

 From Gayesy ~ I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the BEST tips to make breastfeeding as successful and as enjoyable as possible. Whether you have a tip relating to preparing for breastfeeding, establishment of breastfeeding, pumping, nursing a toddler or anything else related to breastfeeding, please share it here!

 From Gayesy ~ Probably the most helpful tip I have for those first few days is to hand express a small amount before each feed to soften the breast slightly and enable baby to latch on. A nurse in the hospital told me that one, and once I did it, I had NO trouble at all getting Thomas onto my big balloons!

 From Terrilein ~ I had really sensitive nipples and dreaded breastfeeding. I started gently scrubbing and twisting my nipples in the third trimester (watch the nipple stimulation though!). I also started going braless when I could. These methods helped me immensely! I never had sore or cracked nipples.

 From Farmgirldll ~ I started using Lansinoh the last month of my pregnancy and for the first month of breastfeeding, and I have NEVER had an episode of sore or cracked nipples. I didn't know about it when I tried breastfeeding my first child and that was a major problem for me back then. Another great tip I learned on here, from Gayesy She responded to someone's post (I cannot recall what the topic was, maybe gassiness in breastfed babies) but she suggested nursing only on one side per feeding to make sure that baby gets both foremilk and hindmilk, since the lactose in the foremilk tends to make them gassy if they don't get the fatty hindmilk to counteract it (did I say this right, Gaysey?) and that has reduced Michael's gassy problem by almost 100% (thanks for that tip, Gayesy)

 From Cherry ~ I didn't really want to spend a lot of money on special nursing shirts so I took a few of my old sleeveless tank tops, cut slits in them over each breast and wore a button down shirt over them. Voila, a quick no sew nursing shirt.

 From katgirl67 ~ The best tip I have is to visit this forum as much as possible to learn as much as you can and don't be afraid to ask questions . . . Support is KEY . . . and it's so sad that the breastfeeding support at most hospitals is so lacking.

My second best tip is to not give up no matter what. If you can make it through the first growth spurt, you'll be golden.

And my third best tip is to use side lying position and don't be afraid to co-sleep. It makes those nighttime marathon sessions so much more bearable.

 From AmyD ~ This is a hard one Gayesy!! There are so many! One of the best tips that I got when I had my son was to "chuck the pacifier". He had had one since the day that he was born and had massive nipple confusion. I was sooo glad that I knew to avoid artificial nipples for the first 4-6 weeks the second time around. Nipple confusion was the worst and caused a downward spiral that took a lot of effort to reverse. I could have avoided all of those problems including Ian being practically failure to thrive had I known to hold off with artificial nipples.

 From MelissaF ~ My best tip is after baby arrives, look in their mouth to make sure they aren't tongue tied. That's where the tongue is latched to the bottom of the mouth. My pediatrician and all the nurses never checked him out and we had a heck of a time latching and I ended up with mastitis. If I had known to look or if they had we would have had a much better start to nursing! As it was my LC found the problem. A quick snip in the pediatrician's office took care of the problem. We're great now and I'm glad I stuck with it!

Oh yeah - that's the other thing, find a good LC before the baby arrives. Preferably around the same time you find your baby's pediatrician.

 From autumred ~ My best tips are:

Know what thrush looks like! Emily had it for about four days before it finally dawned on me that she might have thrush!

Breastfeeding gets easier as the days go by!

A nursing pillow was a must for me, I don't know how I made it the first 3 weeks without one! It worked wonders with positioning while she didn't have neck-control.

I second the tip on checking for tounge-ties!

If you are going to pump when returning to work, start early on building a stash. I wish I would have and I will next time.

Be PROUD of what you are doing for your baby! I think one reason I haven't had any negative remarks from friend and/or family is because I make it known how I feed my baby (with a smile on my face).

If you have a problem/concern/bad day/whatever come to the wonderful people here on this forum and get feedback!

 From marie ~ Wow, I learned a lot already! My tip is to BE PATIENT! I have always been extremely patient with Leah in everything she does and it has made things work great for us.

 From Shra ~ Wow! Those are all great tips. Since, no one has mentioned much on mastitis, here's the best I have on that. Never ignore muscle ache in your back, right behind your breasts. Typically, it indicates start of plugged duct, and can lead to mastitis. If you do get mastitis, go on a nursing marathon. Sleeping with your baby with lot of skin to skin contact helps. Do remember to give wet heat to the affected area and massage gently. Try to have baby's tongue underneath the general area or direction of the plugged duct.

 From ACheryl ~ My tips in the beginning are to have some bottled water you buy or make yourself handy in the fridge along with some quick snacks like cereal bars, because nursing makes you thirsty and hungry.

 From Lenore ~ Since I had a rough start with breastfeeding, my tips are all for those early days.

* Read about breastfeeding while you're pregnant, and line up support in advance (an LC, LLL, friends, whatever). You may be blessed with an easy transition, but if not, experienced help will make all the difference. (It took multiple visits to the LC to get my son to latch properly -- I had so much milk it short-circuited the rooting reflex, and he went straight to trying to suck, without attaching first...couldn't get in that little mouth...)

*Communicate your wishes to hospital staff clearly (paci's, feeding, etc.) I've heard horror stories, but my hospital was respectful of my desires.

* For engorgement, hot showers, massage, cabbage leaves (they work!), lots of rest and liquids. Pump just enough to relieve pressure (but not enough so that your body keeps making so much.) Remember this stage is *temporary*!!

* For leaking... sleep with a towel under you, and wear a (light) bra to bed. Hold a towel or cloth diaper to the non-feeding side. Keep as dry as you can to minimize infections -- change nursing pads often, or try cutting sanitary napkins to fit your bra if need be. When you go out, wear prints to minimize showing. For severe cases, check out the BLIS system. And remember, this too is a stage!! For most women, milk production stabilizes after a month or two.

* Count diapers to reassure yourself that baby IS getting enough.

* Try different nursing positions. I was SO happy when I learned to nurse lying down.

* Re-try positions. What didn't work with a 2-week-old might be great with a 2-month-old.

* Give yourself time before you give up. I decided before ds was born that I would not even *consider* giving up until 6 weeks. By then, of course, the worst was over. But if I hadn't made that pledge to myself, I might have easily been among the "tried it and couldn't" crowd.

* Take care of yourself, and let other people take care of you.

* Celebrate your successes!

 From Kathleen ~ The best tips I have are to nurse constantly during the first few days after the baby is born. This helped me from becoming engorged, and it helped my milk to come in rather uneventfully.

Also, I say this to everyone, the first six weeks are the hardest, so hang in there because it does get better!

 From Juliet ~ Everyone has such good tips, I can only think of a couple more:

RELAX. The more tense you are the harder it is to breastfeed and the baby also picks up on your signals.

Have a sense of humour: When the baby is feeding and suddenly sneezes and sprays tons of milk all over you, the furniture, the dog, the cat that was sitting 10 feet away, laugh it off.

Do not doubt yourself: if there are enough soggy diapers a day, then you are making enough milk.

Breastfed babies can go up to 10 days without pooping and without concern, contact your pediatrician after that.

Breastfeeding in public really truly becomes easier with practise.

And if anyone says to you "Well, In my day......" you reply, "yeah well as computers over the years have become more intelligent and medicine has come on with leaps and bounds so has research into breastfeeding and the longer I breastfeed my baby, the better"

But above all, remember that you alone in breastfeeding keeps your baby alive.

 From duckieduckie ~ Wow, there really are some great tips here!

My best one (that's still not mentioned!) is to make sure baby's neck isn't craned while sucking. It's harder to swallow when your neck is turned; make sure baby is facing mommy with his head and his entire body.

I know all the how-to pictures show this properly, but I wasn't doing it right until my midwife visited when Robbie was a few days old. After the "correction" he nursed better and slept better.

 From Ramona ~ These are some great tips.

If you have flat or inverted nipples, using breast shells or a little bit of pumping can pull your nipples out enough, so that baby can latch on easier.

 From Rainey ~ Hide your clocks. Feed on demand and don't time how long or how often your baby nurses. Makes those first weeks MUCH less stressful.

Eating oatmeal does wonders for your supply.

Oh, and make sure you (mom) are comfortable when you are about to nurse. Use pillows and build a nest so that your back is supported. I didn't at first, and had the backache to prove it!

 From kac67 ~ One thing i needed to know - every breastfeeding experience (like every pregnancy and child) is different!

because I'd successfully breastfed my son with relatively no problems, I assumed i'd be on the same smooth course -wrong! luckily, I had this board to run to. I feel I should've been more prepared for problems and was too proud (stupid) to admit that I needed professional help (one hour with an LC was the best $ I ever spent!). I ended up with thrush for over a month because I was in such denial!

 From Hope ~ Learn to nurse laying down. It gives you much needed rest. And then bring your baby to your breast, and not the other way round.
*A nursing no-no: Never, ever let anyone pressure you into introducing solids (unless medically neccessary) before you or the baby are ready. Your baby will be in unnecessary pain and your milk supply will dwindle.

 From abuddi ~ Hope - you beat me to it about the solids things. But let me add that introducing solids can constipate baby. And cereal does NOT make a baby sleep better at night.

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