First of all, give yourself a pat on the back for even considering breastfeeding. It is not for the faint of heart! In fact, it’s probably the hardest and most definitely the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. Buy a mamas gotta do what a mama feels is best for her child!
In a session with my lactation consultant, she advised me that even just a mouthful of breastmilk a day is still something! You’re doing the best you can and THAT is good enough. Plus, baby gets the best of both worlds; breastmilk AND formula. Win, win! Even if you stop all together, you still did your best... baby will be fed either way and that’s what’s important! Don’t let it stress or overwhelm you.
Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
1. Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand system. The more the baby eats, the more milk your body will produce. So, latch baby often to increase supply. Using formula can lower your supply because your body thinks baby doesn’t need that feeding.. if that makes sense. Your body needs those first 6 weeks to get an idea of baby’s need and then it regulates. This is very demanding and can be overwhelming. Especially those late night feedings when you’re already exhausted but hang in there!
2. Proper latch is CRUCIAL! Open baby’s mouth wide, tilting their head back slightly to ensure their throat is open to allow the milk to flow easily, and make sure your nipple is aiming for the roof of baby’s mouth instead of straight to the back of throat. This helps them “sense” the nipple and allows them to latch effortlessly. If they’re shaking their head with their mouth wide open, it means they can’t find the nipple... even if it’s in their mouth. Tilt the nipple to the roof of their mouth and make sure their tongue is UNDER the nipple.
3. Babe shouldn’t be sucking directly on the nipple but around it (the areola). Don’t let them start at nipple then suck in until they find the right spot.. that’s painful! Make them open mouth wide, tilt head, and point nipple to roof of mouth and shove nipple in 🤣 no pain!
4. You can’t fill from an empty cup... and neither can your boobs! You need to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to allow your body to produce milk. You also need to eat a healthy, nutritious diet. Whole Foods, not processed. And plenty of it. You’re still eating for two, but even more so now! Don’t skip meals, and snack in between. Get plenty of rest as much as possible. Don’t over do it. If you need help, and you will, don’t be afraid to ask for it. If offered, take it! You just had a bay. Rest!
5. For increased production: try Goat’s Rue.. fenugreek and brewers yeast never worked for me so I tried goats rue last night and my milk came flying in!!! I got it on Amazon!
Also, try power hour pumping! This is where you pump for 20 minutes, rest for 10, pump for 10, rest for 10 again, then pump for another 10 minutes. Kind of tricks your body into thinking baby needs more milk by the increased frequency of feedings. Supply and demand, remember!
I'm no expert or lactation consultant. I'm just a mom tryna help another mother out with tricks" that were helpful for me so I'm passing them along.! Just remember: You got this! But if you decide to supplement with formula, exclusively pump, or exclusively formula feed, that’s ok too! Feed your child... that’s what’s important. HOW you do it is nobody’s business!