The Best 7 Tips for Breastfeeding Success
There were over 3.8 million babies born in the United States in 2017. Of those, only 35% were breastfed through their first year of life.
Let’s face it, breastfeeding though a natural process, can be extremely difficult. I would know, I gave up breastfeeding my daughter when she was just 4 days old. Unfortunately, I found the right advice after it was too late and my milk had already dried up.
That’s why I was determined to find the best advice to make breastfeeding my son a successful journey.
I have compiled 7 tips for breastfeeding success that helped me get through the early days of learning to breastfeed and am sharing them with you today!
7 Tips for Breastfeeding Success
Breastfeed within the first hour after birth
According to the World Health Organization, initiating breastfeeding within the first hour after birth greatly increases the chances for successful exclusive breastfeeding through at least four months of life.
Most hospitals and birthing centers these days support skin to skin contact as soon as possible after birth, but be sure to include this in your birthing plan and verbalize it to the nurses and staff on hand when you are there.
Having skin to skin contact during the first hour of life has been shown to normalize baby’s body temperature, blood sugar levels, and help baby adjust to the outside world.
2. Take A Breastfeeding Course
When I was pregnant the first time with my daughter I didn’t think that I needed to take any breastfeeding or birthing classes because it’s natural right? Everything just comes easy and we’re blissfully happy? I was so wrong you would’t believe it.
The second time around I researched the best breastfeeding courses online and found Milkology. At first, I was pretty skeptical because I couldn’t find a single bad review and was leery to jump in. I decided to make the $19 investment after a few days and was so happy I did. Milkology answered so many questions that I had about the science behind breastfeeding and how it should feel.
The course can be completed in less than an hour or at your own pace (I couldn’t watch those videos fast enough!).
You can also check your local hospital, county health department, or even your healthcare providers office to see where any in-person classes are being held!
3. Ask for help!
I saw the lactation consultant exactly one time when I had my daughter. With Kooper (my son), I saw her four times before we left the hospital! ANd subsequently 3 more times after we went home!
A lot of moms whether it’s your first delivery or not don’t want to ask for help. But that is what they are there for! I had a lot of questions while I was in labor, so I asked the lactation consultant to come in before delivery and wanted to be sure she would be around within a few hours after he arrived.
Now, that isn’t always an options but you can certainly ask to see what your options are to have them come for a consult in your room.
Not all lactation consultants are the same, so if you don’t feel comfortable with one be sure to ask if there are any others on staff that you could have a visit with to see if you have a better connection with.
4. Get A Nursing Pillow
There is a lot of debate over the different kinds of nursing pillows, or if you should just use regular ol’ sleeping pillows. Personally, I loved my Boppy pillow for every feeding. I was able to get enough leverage and be comfortable for those long cluster feeding sessions.
You’ll want to make sure you take this pillow to the hospital with you so that you have it once baby is here!
5. Have the Right Products
I can’t tell you how many times I used all of these breastfeeding products. Check out my post Top 5 Breastfeeding Products for the full list. I use all of these almost daily even now that Kooper is almost 3 months old.
One of the keys to breastfeeding is being prepared. I took nipple cream, Medela hydrogel pads, nursing tanks, and my Boppy pillow to hospital, and it made all the difference.
6. Learn Different Breastfeeding Positions
I cannot express to you enough how important it is to learn different positions to breastfeed in.
Sometimes a baby has a preference in how they are positioned to feed it, for Kooper in particular he would only eat in the football position on one side, and in the cradle position on the other. Had we not figured that out while we were in the hospital, I don’t think we would have learned how to breastfeed successfully.
Check out this article on different breastfeeding positions!
7. Join A Breastfeeding Support Group
There are lots of different ways to connect with other moms who are expecting or just had a baby as well. Check your local health department, WIC office, or hospital for different breastfeeding support groups that meet in person.
If you prefer, you can find support groups on Facebook too! Check out Kelly Mom’s Facebook support group here.
Whether you just had a baby or are currently pregnant I hope this list helped you feel prepared for your breastfeeding journey. Share your story below on how breastfeeding went or how it is going!