5 tips from lactation consultants

5 tips from lactation consultants

Breastfeeding is one of the most challenging aspects of new motherhood, and the experience is completely different with every child, even for moms who have gone this route before. But while there is no guideline for raising babies, there is plenty of support available that can make breastfeeding less stressful.

If you’re expecting or still struggling to breastfeed, these five tips from professional lactation consultants can help you figure out what’s not working and how to make the process more enjoyable for you and your baby.


Pumping from the start

Having a new baby is stressful, so in the early days after birth, the last thing you might want to do is find time to pump, but here’s the thing, milk production is like an economy: it works on supply and demand . In other words, if you want to make sure you have enough milk, you need to create demand, and pumping will help. However, this is not the only advantage. By pumping, you’ll also be able to get help with feeding, taking shifts with your partner, or visiting friends and family, especially at night.

Take advantage of resources

As we noted earlier, new parenthood is stressful, and one of the results of this exhaustion is that you may not feel able to do exactly those things that will help ease the process, such as making use of hospital resources .

For example, if you can’t find a prenatal lactation consultant, your hospital may be able to set you up with one. They can also recommend bottles for complementary feedings, using pumped breast milk or formula, if needed.

ask questions

There is a prevailing narrative surrounding breastfeeding, since since it is natural, you shouldn’t need a lot of help to be successful. In fact, getting help is the best way to ensure your ability to breastfeed for the long term.

With this in mind, it is important to ask questions and seek support from a lactation consultant . Ask questions about the process, as well as connect with other breastfeeding mothers.

This combination of professional experience and support from women in the same boat can help you feel more united in your struggles and provide a community to celebrate your successes and milestones.

It shouldn’t hurt

Just as breastfeeding should not be a source of emotional distress, it also should not cause significant physical pain . Yes, your baby may bite you occasionally as his teeth begin to erupt (and there are appropriate ways to respond to this), but if every feeding is painful, there are bigger problems. If feeding is painful, it is possible that your baby is not latching properly, so consult your lactation consultant about changes you can make to improve the situation.

trust your feelings

Maternal instinct is a real thing, and it’s important to trust your gut during your breastfeeding journey. This means, for example, determining how long breastfeeding is right for you and your baby, when and how close you are to weaning , and how much and whether to pump. While professional and community support can help you navigate the process, you will rely on those instincts to navigate parenting for the rest of your life. Don’t let pressure from family, friends, or the Internet convince you to ignore what you know is right for you and your baby.

In many ways, the amount of information available to families today about breastfeeding should make things easier, but instead pressure from the media and online communities can do the opposite. As with everything else in our lives, it is important, then, to find those communities that nourish you and block out the rest. It’s the only way to make sure that you and your child are able to thrive.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button