Feeding the Littlest Ones: Seven Breastfeeding Tips

Caroline
May 5, 2009

Today’s guest posters are parenting authors Suzanne Schlosberg and Sarah Bowen Shea who have recently written a book titled The Essential Breastfeeding Log. They would like to share with all of our new mothers seven helpful breastfeeding tips. As parents who each breastfed their own twins for at least 9 months, they certainly know what they’re writing about! We hope you find these tips useful. What are some of your own tips?

1. Remember: Just because it’s natural doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy.
Virtually all babies are capable of breastfeeding, and virtually all moms can produce enough milk. But it just may take more time and effort than expected.

2. Educate yourself
The more you know about breastfeeding, the better, so take a breastfeeding class offered by your hospital.  Also, you can join chat rooms and check in with other nursing moms who are in your boat, whether you have a preemie in the NICU or a 6-month-old who seems to be self-weaning.

3. Get the gear
Sure, all that is really required for breastfeeding are breasts, but we recommend investing in a reliable pump, a few good-quality nursing bras, and a supportive nursing pillow.

4. Call in the pros
Many U.S. hospitals have lactation consultants on staff who can offer advice and hands-on help during your postpartum stay. Also, ask the nursing staff for guidance; they’ve been around more than their share of new moms and newborns.

5. Set short-term goals
When you were pregnant, you may have declared, “I’m going to breastfeed for one year,” only to feel overwhelmed, even demoralized, by that goal once your baby arrives and it’s not smooth sailing. If this happens, take it in steps.

6. Involve other people.
Sure, you’re the one with the breasts, so there’s only so much someone else can do. Still, it’s important for partners to support each other on the breastfeeding front. And don’t be shy about asking friends and neighbors to bring meals and to help around the house.

7. Stay hydrated, get your rest, and eat well
The physiological system that drives lactation depends on a variety of hormonal and physical factors, many of which are influenced by hydration, energy, and sleep. In other words, if you’re a dehydrated wreck, your milk isn’t going to flow like the Colorado River.

Suzanne Schlosberg and Sarah Bowen Shea have combined their years of expertise for publications such as Fit Pregnancy, Women’s Health, Shape, The New York Times, Parenting, Glamour, and more in their new book THE ESSENTIAL BREASTFEEDING LOG.

From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    Most obstetricians recommend that women preparing to conceive visit the gynecologist to talk about everything from diet to genetic risk factors and healthy pregnancy. For women with a chronic illness, such as psoriasis, prepregnancy is a perfect time to talk about treatments that will be safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding

    over a year ago

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