Brave Little Baby

Tips for breastfeeding a newborn

Breastfeeding a newborn in the first few weeks – you are not alone!

Whether you’re a first-time mom who is beginning to breastfeed her newborn or a mother who has breastfed multiple times, there is always more to learn throughout the journey of motherhood. If you’re struggling to breastfeed, it’s important to know you are not alone. In this blog we’ll share some great tips and trick on breastfeeding your newborn baby!

Almost every new mother has the same challenges. If you’re struggling with a rhythm and sleep read more here.

Handy tips & tricks for breastfeeding moms:

Get help!!

There is a lot more support available than google.  The most important is to find a lactation consultant for a proper feeding assessment.  You can also look for breastfeeding support groups.

Get the right latch:

This is a key part of the process.  If you create the latch correctly, you shouldn’t experience a stabbing pain.  If you have pain, use your finger to break the suction and try to latch baby again. Read more about nipple pain here.

Don’t feel pressured:

As a new mom, it’s easy to feel pressure to do it all.  When you experience setbacks, you may feel like a failure, especially when your hormones are all over the place.  Accept that moms throughout history have struggled.  You are not the first, and you won’t be the last.  

Expect a challenge:

Prepare yourself mentally that breastfeeding might not come as natural to you as it may seem.  

Get comfortable:

Find a place where you can sit comfortably and easily get into position.  Breastfeeding can take a while, so make sure you have things set up to do in advance such as having a good book to read.  If you have other children, set something up for them to do within your sight.  

Make sure you eat:

Now is not the time to try and diet.  It’s normal to feel hungry ALL THE TIME!!  This helps you to produce enough milk.  It’s recommended that you consume around 500 additional calories a day during this period.  Keep snacks next to you at your nursing spot.  Read more about a breastfeeding diet below.

Get the right clothing:

This can make a big difference.  Make sure to buy comfortable nursing bras and a good nursing top.

Are there any tips or tricks when breastfeeding a newborn that we missed? Share yours below!

Is there a “good” breastfeeding diet? What should I eat when breastfeeding an infant?

An optimum breastfeeding diet will provide your child with vitamins, minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids required for good development.  

Some important things to keep in mind:

  • CALORIES:  Breastfeeding requires extra calories.  It’s normal to feel hungry ALL THE TIME!  Now is not the time to try and lose weight.  Instead, focus on eating a well-balanced diet 
  • CAFFEINE:  Newborns may be more sensitive to caffeine than older babies.  You may want to slowly reintroduce it as part as of your diet as baby gets older
  • WHOLE GRAINS:  They contain folic acid and omega 3 fatty acids which is critical for your baby’s development.  
  • FRUITS & VEGGIES:  Aim for at least three servings of fruits and vegetables each day.  
  • DAIRY:  It’s an important source of calcium, which promotes healthy nerve and muscle function.  If you have a dairy allergy, supplement your diet with other sources of calcium.
  • PROTEIN:  Protein is a good source of iron which helps to repair the tissue in your body.

How will I know if my baby is getting enough milk?

With breastfeeding it can be particularly hard to measure how much your baby is drinking with each session.  

Signs that your baby is getting enough milk:

  • You feed your baby 8 to 12 times in 24 hours
  • Baby is active and alert when awake and content after a feed
  • Good weight gain
  • Frequent urine nappies
  • Listen for audible swallowing
  • The baby takes slow, deep sucks, sometimes pausing for a short time

Some women may find breastfeeding easy from the start, but others find that like any skill, it has to be learned – and may take some practice to succeed.

Breastfeeding hurts, what now!?

Check your baby’s latch:

Incorrect latch is most likely the cause of the breastfeeding pain.  Your baby should:

  1. have a large area of the lower part of the areola in her mouth when she feeds,
  2. your nipple against the roof of her mouth, cupped gently underneath by her tongue.

You can download our free guide to pain-free breastfeeding here.

See a lactation consultant:

Consult a lactation consultant for a proper feeding assessment  for other latching problems.  They can check your baby’s mouth to see if there are physical problems.

Try different feeding positions:

Different positions may take the pressure off the most painful areas of your breasts.

Air-dry nipples:

Risk of yeast infections increase in damp conditions.  Use either disposable or washable nursing pads to absorb any milk leakage.  Remember to change them regularly.

Soothe your nipples:

Apply a nipple ointment such as Lansinoh on your nipples or even a few drops of you breastmilk after breastfeeding.

Be patient:

Soreness normally settles down after a few days as your body gets used to breastfeeding and your baby’s sucking becomes more efficient.

If the pain while breastfeeding doesn’t go away after a few days, consider consulting a lactation consultant for further assessments. 

Getting into breastfeeding can be a stressful experience, but it’s ultimately rewarding.  While you might experience pain and frustration in the short term, you can take pride in your accomplishments in the long term.

Download our free guide to prevent or reduce painful nipples 
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