Whether you are a new mom or a seasoned veterinarian, breastfeeding comes with its own set of unique challenges. From difficulties with the baby latching on to sore nipples, breastfeeding can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Here are more breastfeeding tips, tricks, and fast facts from Deborah Persyn, Registered Nurse and Certified Lactation Consultant at University Health.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has a ton of benefits for mom and baby.
- Helps you lose baby weight
- Reduces your risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer
- Helps you bond with your newborn
- It’s free!
- Reduces their risk of type 1 and 2 diabetes
- Reduces their risk of certain childhood cancers
- Can increase IQ
- Reduces their risk of asthma and allergies
- Reduces their risk of obesity
- Puts baby in control of feedings
1. If you have difficulty breastfeeding, see a lactation consultant.
First and foremost, if you are having difficulty breastfeeding, it helps to get professional help. Lactation consultants can help:
- Improve latch and baby positioning
- Manual expression of the breast
- Draws milk
- Relactation/lactation induction
“Lactation consultants can help determine what is going on with the latch, if your breast hurts, is it a matter of position, or does the baby have a tongue or lip tie , which can also cause pain in some women when breastfeeding,” Persyne said.
2. Sore nipples are common but treatable.
Poor latch, tongue attachment, and infection can cause nipple soreness and pain. You can ease the pain by using nipple cream or a heating pad and keeping soaps away from your nipples. Try to reposition your baby during the feed so he doesn’t pull on your nipple.
3. Don’t pump right after breastfeeding.
Lactation consultants do not recommend expressing milk after a breastfeeding session unless your baby is receiving some kind of supplementation or not latching on.
“A lot of moms are told to express after breastfeeding their baby. But you don’t want to pump because you’re setting yourself up for a breast infection,” Persyn said. baby, and we have a pump baby.”
4. Right after birth, your baby’s belly is the size of a teaspoon.
The first milk you produce is called colostrum. It’s a thick, highly concentrated milk that you’ll start producing around halfway through your pregnancy and for the first few days after giving birth. If you don’t produce many, don’t worry! Your baby does not need to eat much for the first day or so.
“Baby doesn’t have to pee and poop a ton at first,” Persyn said. “It can really help moms realize and know that what little they have is normal and that’s all baby needs.”
Use this breastfeeding and diaper chart to track your baby’s daily feedings.
5. Try the hand expression.
hand expression means using your hands and fingers to massage your breast to encourage milk production.
“Having mom do the hand expression to pull out some of those drops so baby can taste them can help babies overcome that initial challenge of direct latching,” Persyn said.
6. Breastfeeding immediately after childbirth reduces the risk of bleeding.
“When mothers breastfeed, their bodies release oxytocin, which produces contractions in the uterus to help it return to its original size,” Persyn said. “If breastfeeding or pumping is initiated within that first hour, it really helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage.”
Attend a university course on breastfeeding
Sign up for an online breastfeeding course at University Health, led by a certified lactation consultant. Learn more about topics such as:
- Why should you breastfeed?
- Preparing to breastfeed
- First feedings
- The first week at home
These online courses last 90 minutes and are currently only available in English.