Breastfeeding Support Tips

Read these 8 Breastfeeding Support Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Breastfeeding tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Have Your Partner Help

Instead of Mommy being the only one helping with the care of the little one at night, Daddy or other adults in the house can help too. When the baby wakes up to feed, Daddy can first check the baby's diaper, change if necessary, and then pass the baby to Mommy. This being made a routine will make night care much easier on the mother but also provide for additional bonding for the father and child, or a more balanced plate of responsibilities in general.

   

Men in Nursing Stations?

Although you may have a very supportive husband/boyfriend/father of child regarding your choice to nurse, when mothers enter a nursing station in a public place it is most likely because they do desire a bit of privacy. Bringing a man into this environment, in many cases, which there are no doors separating private areas, you are turning their private place into a public place once more. This is not to say that nursing should not be done in front of men, but to encourage all nursing mothers to remember that not all nursing mothers have the same comfort level with whom they choose to nurse in front of. Mothers in these areas will not likely have brought anything to cover themselves up to avoid mishaps and for this reason have entered the nursing station. Nursing stations are for private nursing by choice and should remain by choice.

   

La Leche League

La Leche League is infamous for their tactics supporting nursing mothers and the act of nursing itself. If you have come accross severe issues related to nursing such as problems at work, contact them. They can also get you in touch with local groups who may give you the emotional support you need.

   
How can I prepare for breast feeding?

A supportive pediatrician is key

When interviewing prospective pediatricians, ask them if they are supprtive of breastfeeding. If the doctor is evasive, indifferent or unaware of the current AAP policy on breastfeeding, consider another doctor.

   
Is breastfeeding always painless?

Pain During Breastfeeding

Many new mothers are taken aback that something as natural as nursing a baby can be so complicated. Finding the correct position, getting the baby to open its mouth wide enough and making sure that the infant is eating enough are all important considerations for breastfeeding mothers. Most literature from breastfeeding organizations emphasize how natural, peaceful and calming breastfeeding can be. The truth is, breastfeeding can be a relaxing, precious time between mother and child. However, it takes time for the mother and child to find a rhythm, and in the interim, breastfeeding can be frustrating and, at times, painful.

Many new mothers are shocked by the pain of nursing. One major reason for this surprise is that medical literature implies that nursing should always be painless. Experts tell mothers that pain is a result of improper positioning or poor technique. The pain of latching on in the first few days is often referred to as "discomfort." Mothers often give up on nursing altogether because they believe that the pain means that they are constantly doing something wrong, and they do not know what to do differently.

Experienced lactation consultants realize that some women do experience extreme nipple soreness in the first week of nursing, despite correct positioning and technique. Often these women have very sensitive skin to begin with, and the suction of a baby nursing for hours can be quite painful. However, if these women persevere, the pain should lessen by the third or fourth day of nursing. Usually, by day seven or eight, the nipple has developed a callous, and pain is practically non-existent. If a lactation consultant assures a mother that she is nursing correctly and she is still in pain, she should realize that the tenderness is likely temporary. By sticking with it, she will likely soon be pain-free.

A lactation consultant can also help mothers identify other causes of pain. Thrush, a type of yeast infection, mastitis, clogged ducts and engorgement can also cause extreme pain for nursing mothers. Additionally, incorrect positioning can cause pain too. If a mother has pain while nursing, she should seek the advice of a lactation consultant to ensure that she's doing everything correctly.

Although pain can be a tip-off for nursing problems, nipple soreness does not automatically mean that something is wrong. Many experienced nursing mothers expect pain in the first few days and work through it using pain relievers, soothing creams and herbal remedies.

   

WIC Supports Breastfeeding

WIC, (Women, Infants and Children), the program that helps provide nutritional food for pregnant women, or women with babies and children under five years old, also provides extra and extended benefits to mothers who choose to breastfeed including supporting information, access to a State Breastfeeding Coordinator and additional nutritional food in order to encourage more mothers to breastfeed and to do so for the first year of life. The WIC website encourages breastfeeding by providing access to articles and research on the subject, recommending it as a practice for at least one year. Application requirements can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/breastfeeding/breastfeedingmainpage.HTM.

   

Other Nursing Mothers

Mothers who have nursed should offer help to new nursing mothers. They will know that there is sometimes pain involved, that not everyone appreciates you nursing in public and that sometimes you have questions you are embarrassed to ask. Gather a list and make sure to ask your questions to any of these mothers, keeping in mind that we each have our own experience with nursing, including the good and bad and might have different advice. You will gain their respect for your efforts. If you have enough nursing mothers around you might even consider forming your own support group.

   

Family and Friends

Mothers should always try to be supportive of the decision to nurse or not to nurse. It is a personal decision. Your family and friends, even if they are a little shocked the first time you nurse in front of them, will get over it rather quickly. Once they have become accustomed to it, they will provide a wall of support around you. When others see how comfortable you are with nursing, as well as how comfortable those surrounding you are, you will gain their support and respect.

   
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Barbara Gibson
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