Deciding between feeding methods is a personal decision for each new mother. Breastfeeding is one option often chosen for its easy digestibility and natural antibodies.
For those who choose breastfeeding, there a number of helpful tips for beginners:
- Practice. As with most things in life, practice makes perfect. Nursing issues often get better with more time and practice. Don’t be afraid to do your research, reach out to other mothers, and ask for help when you need it.
- Some discomfort and pain is normal. Breastfeeding can hurt in the beginning, especially within the first couple of weeks. Be patient, as tolerance will build the longer you nurse.
- Don’t forget to eat and stay hydrated. As your baby receives the nutrients he needs, mommy is left with less energy and depleted calorie levels. Be sure to account for the additional calories in our diet by eating plenty of healthy proteins, veggies and snacks. Also, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water—this will prevent wooziness post-breastfeeding sessions.
- Moisturize. Remain comfortable by moisturizing your sore nipples with lotion or oils. Make sure to do careful research on the healthiest, natural products that are safe for your baby. Ask your doctor for help or recommended products.
- Take a breastfeeding class. Before you give birth, consider taking a breastfeeding class to get a sense of the activity before baby arrives. Generally, breastfeeding classes provide basic information on what to expect, positions, and common issues. You can typically find these classes at local pregnancy resource centers or hospitals, but ask your doctor for recommendations.