Breastfeeding tips. Everyone has them. While most are helpful and come in handy, there are some that are just so out there, you have to wonder why the person giving the advice feels like it would be helpful! That being said, here are my top 3 breastfeeding tips:
- Learn to nurse while laying down. The side lying position saved my breastfeeding relationship. Three weeks into it, I had had enough. I wanted out so badly because I was so tired. Thankfully, an excellent lactation consultant made a home visit and showed me how to do this position. I had been incorrectly informed that a baby needed to have head control prior to nursing this way. Head control was not needed, but I did use a couple of rolled up receiving blankets to make sure everything was good.
This also helped immensely when I had to go back to work after 12 weeks. I could not imagine nursing as frequently as E did overnight and having to go to work the next day if I had to sit up and nurse. Holy crap did this work. I could nurse in the middle of the night without having to sit up! This was a game changer for me.
- Co-sleep. Please realize that co-sleeping does not equal bed sharing. Co-sleeping is sleeping near your baby, whether it's in the same bed, in a sidecar bassinet, or (as it was in our case) a pack and play next to the bed. Not only does it reduce the risk of SIDS, but it facilitates breastfeeding. Rather than having to stumble through the dark through the house to get the baby, I would stand and grab the baby out and bring to bed to nurse... in the side lying position!
And as far as the "ZOMG! How are you going to have sex with a baby in the same room!??!!" question that's reared its head since the Time magazine cover, don't most houses and apartments have more than 1 room? Even if you live in a studio, you can go to a corner of the room, throw a blanket on the floor, and have some fun. Step outside the bedroom. Heck, maybe even go outside!
- It's okay to ask for help and/or support. Really. I am stubborn. I didn't want to ask for help. Thankfully, my darling husband knew I was struggling and made some calls even though I told him not to. Thank goodness he did! Despite breastfeeding being natural, it doesn't always come naturally. When it doesn't, speak up. Whether it's through an online forum, a support group, or by contacting a lactation consultant, just do it. Support is key.
The my CLEC class professor has repeatedly said that women today have been raised in captivity. Many have never seen or experienced a natural birth, nor have they seen breastfeeding. It's up to those of us who have been there to guide them. I couldn't agree more!
What are your top three breastfeeding tips?