Breastfeeding Tips
Chastity Johnson, RN - August 17, 2020

Breastfeeding Tips

Breastfeeding is a journey that no parent will ever forget. It’s a skill that has to be learned by all participants involved—mother, baby, partners, and other support people. Breastfeeding requires a lot of practice, plenty of patience, and even relearning based on the unique needs of each baby.

This article will offer a few tips to consider throughout your breastfeeding journey.

Birth & The First Weeks

Don't Sweat the Hospital Bag

Packing a hospital bag can be stressful. There is no standard list of items to bring—it’s often just a list based on other's experiences, quick Google searches, and endless scrolling on a favorite parent-to-be app. The truth is,  you probably won’t need to pack many breastfeeding supplies. A few nursing-specific items that may be helpful during your hospital stay include:
  • A breastfeeding pillow
  • Nursing clothing (bra, tanks, shirts)
  • Breast pump and parts
  • Lanolin-based nipple cream

Ask for Help

Lactation Services

Much like raising a child, successful breastfeeding takes a village. It’s hard work and can be taxing both mentally and physically. Ask for help and do it often. Schneck Medical Center has caring staff who are trained to work with new mothers as they establish breastfeeding with their newborn. They will help you navigate through tough times and answer any questions you have, whether about positioning, under- or over-feeding, pumping, milk storage, engorgement, and more. The best part? Schneck Medical Center lactation services are available at all hours of the day by calling (812) 524-3373. They’ll even weigh your baby after coaching you through a feeding so you can feel confident that baby is getting enough to eat and gaining weight.
Often new and expecting mothers are told that breastfeeding can be painful, especially when a baby latches. If you experience cringing pain with each latch, contact a Schneck Medical lactation specialist so they can help ensure the baby is latching correctly. Yes, your baby is learning right along with you and also needs practice, but overall, the process should not be painful.

Personal Support System

Breastfeeding alone is hard. If you have a support system, be sure to speak up and tell them how they can help. Don’t be afraid to be specific: ask for a glass of water and a snack, or a heating pad, or even help massage to encourage milk let-down. Letting your support system know exactly what you need will take a huge amount of stress off your shoulders.

Stay Hydrated & Eat Healthy

Staying hydrated and regularly eating healthy snacks and meals is extremely important for your body to heal from birth and also produce food for your baby. You’re truly eating and drinking for two (or more)! Keep water with you and aim to drink a full glass each time you nurse—consider eating a healthy snack too. This will help ensure that you’re staying hydrated and nourishing your body enough to keep producing milk.

Try Not To Worry

Breastfeeding a baby can be stressful no matter how experienced or knowledgeable you are. It’s hard not to worry, but it’s important to try and relax.

"Am I producing enough milk?"
"Is my baby gaining weight?"
"Is my baby still hungry?"
"Am I doing this right?"

Remember when we talked about support? If you start to worry and ask questions like the ones above, lean on your support system. And when in doubt, call a Schneck Medical Center lactation specialist.

Relax And Take Care Of Yourself

Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Ask your support system for help when you’re feeling like you need a break. You deserve to take a shower, eat a hot meal, and enjoy a cup of coffee. And when a friend or family member visits you, say yes if they offer to bring you a meal, do your dishes, or help in another way.

Do What Is Best For You & Baby

Is breastfeeding not working? That’s okay! Remember that a fed baby is best and that if breastfeeding isn’t working, there are great formula options that are available. You don't have to force anything if it only means more stress and worry.

Navigating breastfeeding can be challenging, but it's even more rewarding. Remember to lean on your support system and contact a Schneck Medical Center lactation specialist with any questions.