Breastfeeding is one of the best gifts you can give your baby. Here are five tips for making it as easy as possible:
- Be Good to Yourself — The frequency of feeds varies as your baby grows. Early on feeding may be very frequent. Later, your baby may not need to feed as often, but no matter the frequency, it can take a lot of moms’ time and energy. While breastfeeding, be especially good to yourself and realize that during this window in time the most important thing you are doing is caring for your baby. Everything else can wait.
- Drink Lots of Water — This helps you make the amount of milk your baby needs. Before sitting down to feed your baby, fill a large glass or stainless steel canteen with water so you can drink while your baby drinks.
- Treat Yourself to a Nutritious Diet — I recommend continuing to take prenatal vitamins while nursing and being sure to eat healthy amounts of real food – this is great for mom and baby. As an added bonus, the flavors mom eats come through breastmilk as a wonderful way to introduce baby to a rich variety of tastes.
- Take Advantage of Your Hormones – Every time you nurse, hormones are generated that make you drowsy after nursing and take a nap when the baby naps. You are not being lazy. You are taking care of yourself so you can take care of your baby.
- You’re Not Alone — If you have trouble nursing, call an expert for help. A Certified Lactation Consultant is an invaluable resource. You might also want to connect with a La Leche League volunteer or an experienced family member or friend. Getting the encouragement you need could make a world of difference.