The first few days with your baby can be very overwhelming and difficulty breastfeeding can add an additional stressor. Each woman has to decide whether or not breastfeeding is best for her and her baby. If you do choose to breastfed there are some things you can do to prepare in an effort to make the process smoother.
Sometimes your child’s pediatrician will tell you that he is not gaining enough weight and needs to be supplemented with formula. This is totally normal so do not worry if this is the case for you and your baby. Some women build up a milk supply gradually while others never have enough milk for their baby. It can be discouraging if you experience difficulty breastfeeding, but rest assured that many women do.
It is very important to get prenatal care from a doctor throughout your pregnancy because good prenatal care can help prevent premature births and other complications. Babies who are born prematurely may have more difficulty latching and nursing. Ask your doctor about feeding options and what they would recommend for you and your baby.
It can be helpful to take a breastfeeding course to prepare for breastfeeding and ask any questions you may have. Also, at the hospital and nurses and doctors can provide their expertise on how to prepare and to start breastfeeding. A lactation consultant may visit you to help your baby latch and start nursing. Some hospitals offer many resources and supports for breastfeeding moms while others do not. You may want to look into this before you deliver.
Buy Everything Before Baby
We recommend that you purchase all the breastfeeding necessities before you have your baby. Most women purchase a pump and accessories, nursing bras and pads, pillows, and comfortable clothing. Check out our blog for a complete list of breastfeeding pump options and helpful accessories.
Nipple soreness and discomfort is fairly common as women begin to breastfeed but it can be very discouraging. Your baby’s latch is very important in decreasing the chance of nipple soreness. Newborns tend to have a very strong suck during those first few days in order to get the colostrum, so tenderness is normal. But by day three or four of nursing your nipples should start to feel more comfortable.
Nipple Soreness Treatment
- Massage your breasts to express a few drops of colostrum or breast milk so that they coat your nipple. Your milk can help heal an inflamed nipple. Avoid creams and lotions unless medically indicated.
- Make sure your baby is properly positioned at the breast and that your baby is very close to you so he can get more of the areola into his mouth.
- Make sure your baby is properly latched. It can be helpful to bring the baby to your breast with his mouth wide open and centered over the areola when latching. If you feel a pinch, use your finger to gently pull down on his chin and roll out the lower lip.
- Feed your baby frequently so he is not overly hungry. If he is very hungry, he may be so frantic that he begins to pull at the nipple.
- Try to avoid pacifiers and artificial bottle nipples for at least a few weeks. They may contribute to your baby incorrectly sucking at the breast.
- If your nipples are not healing, contact your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant who can observe one of your breastfeeding sessions.
Cluster feeding is very normal for younger babies. Sometimes they are too tired to nurse for more than a few minutes and will fall asleep on the breast and then wake an hour later ready to eat again. They may also just be seeking comfort and closeness. This is very common and usually goes away by the time a baby is three or four months old. Reach out to your pediatrician if you have concerns.
Tips to Soothe Baby
- Turn on soft music that is soothing
- Use a sling or baby carrier so your baby is close to you. You could even try nursing this way
- Use the rocking chair and the stroller to soothe baby
- Interact, sing, and talk with your baby
- Dim lights and reduce loud noises
- Swaddle baby in a swaddle blanket
Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny Services
Night wakings can be exhausting for parents and lack of sleep can leave parents feeling scattered and foggy. An overnight newborn care expert provides care so sleep deprived parents can get a good night of sleep. Your baby needs sleep and so do you.
Daytime Newborn Care
Your Newborn Care Expert will care for your infant and create a stimulating environment that will help foster your baby’s development.
In-Home Consultant Visits
Our trained professionals can teach you how to best care for your baby. Many parents have questions about how to bathe their babies, how to swaddle, or a host of other questions. We also offer a variety of breastfeeding support and lactation services designed to help support and maximize your breastfeeding experience.
Baby Sleep Coaching
One in four children under the age of five has a sleep issue. Most children’s sleep issues are behavioral and not medical. If your child is struggling with sleep issues, you are not alone!
The care of your children is our highest priority. Connecting families with warm, responsible, and trustworthy caregivers is what we do best. Our team will meet with your family, identify qualified caregivers, and hand-select the best candidates for you to meet with.