I personally feel like I skipped this portion of the course, you know the crash course you either get the day you delivered your little one or the one you get at the class you take before having your little one. I personally was so preoccupied with giving birth I did not retain any of the information on the how to’s of feeding a baby. All I vaguely remember is nipple + baby = happy baby, I’m pretty sure that was the magic equation.
However the crude reality set in after I had left the hospital, I was so proud of myself for being able to get my little one to latch on those first two days. That I totally ignored the nurses and others on how to feed him. And then the stress set in, which now that I think of it the stress definitely did not help me. By the third night my nipples were so sore and bruised because I was feeding him too long and too often, I didn’t know about timing and he didn’t know that either. I also wasn’t sure if he was getting enough or realistically if I was making anything for him.
I was overwhelmed and everyone kept telling me I had to eat this and drink that to start making milk for him. I started doubting myself, what if I couldn’t feed him? what if he is crying because he is starving? and one night I nearly lost it, I was so exhausted, in so much pain and honestly completely lost. It literally took a visit to the emergency room for my supply to finally kick into gear.
I however wished somebody would have told me what it felt like to actually produce milk for your baby, it was the most uncomfortable feeling ever. It literally felt like having rocks push my skin from the inside out. Also side note I now get why we have such things as breast pads, they are life savers. But if you are like me and wondering how to and what is appropriate here are the top 5 tips I received from professionals and loved ones that got me through it. Also at the end I will have a list of teas and products I use daily to maintain a healthy supply.
- Do not feed all the time because your baby is crying. Babies will go with what you do, so If you are feeding every 30 minutes they will eat every 30 minutes. My little ones pediatrician suggested to feed every 2-3 hours for 10-15 minutes each breast. This helped me train the little one as to when he was actually hungry and for how long he should eat. It also helped my nipples get some relief from all the feedings.
- Burp your baby in between feedings, I feed him on one side and burp. Than I move to the next one and burp. Breast fed babies really don’t suck in much air but its a good rule of thumb to follow so you don’t have a cranky baby.
- Be prepared and comfortable, I usually have a burp cloth, a suction device, and a pillow to stay comfortable. My back killed me for the first few days because I hunched over too much.
- Don’t suffer through it, my parents actually bought me nipple barriers to help ease the pain and I also purchase nipple balm to help with the irritation. Just buy them don’t push through it.
- Babies like to be soothed by it and sometimes its ok to just let them soothe themselves with it. No harm done in that every once in a while.
Now here are my go to products for breast feeding and keeping a healthy supply.
Raspberry Leaf Tea ( also good for postpartum recovery)