It’s no secret that breastfeeding is a challenging experience for both mothers and babies. It can be difficult to know where to start, especially when you’re just getting used to the idea of breastfeeding. How do you make breastfeeding easier for both you and your baby? Keep reading for advice on everything from clothing to positive habits.
Get the Positioning Right
Sadly, there is no one “right” way to breastfeed, but there are a few things you can do to make sure you and your baby are comfortable. Start by finding a comfortable position for both of you; some mothers prefer to sit in a chair while others like to recline on a bed or couch. Rather than only trying one position, keep experimenting until you find what works best for you. Depending on your needs, you may also want to try using a pillow to support your baby’s head and back.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Next, take a look at your clothing. If you’re wearing something tight or uncomfortable, it will make breastfeeding more difficult. Choose clothing that gives you plenty of room to move and that you won’t mind getting a little bit of milk on; a nursing tank top or dress is always a good option. Over the years, maternity clothing has come on leaps and bounds which means that you will find fashionable breastfeeding tops that are comfortable and practical too.
Stay Together as Much as Possible
Especially after birth, you and your baby must stay close together as much as possible. This will help to promote bonding and attachment, which will make breastfeeding easier. If you need to leave the house, take your baby with you in a sling or car seat. And when you’re at home, try to keep your baby close by in a bassinet or crib. Without this closeness, breastfeeding can be more difficult because the attachment hasn’t developed.
We know this is easier said than done, but try to be patient. Breastfeeding can take time to get used to, and there will be times when it’s frustrating. Remember that you and your baby are learning a new skill, and it takes time to master anything new. Have patience and keep trying, and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Reach out to a lactation consultant, your doctor, or a trusted friend or family member. There’s no shame in admitting that you need help, and getting guidance from someone who knows what they’re doing can make all the difference. Remember, the fact that this article exists means that you’re not the only one to struggle. With this in mind, you’re not failing in any way.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Get a babysitter for an hour or two so you can have some time to yourself or with your partner. Relax and recharge, and then you’ll be able to better handle the challenges of breastfeeding. One of the worst things you can do is to try to push through when you’re feeling burnt out.
Find a Support Group
There are groups all over the country (and the world) for breastfeeding mothers; it can be really helpful to talk to other mothers who are going through the same thing. They understand what you’re dealing with and can offer helpful advice and support. You might even make some friends in the process.