When people asked me before Raphael was born „ Are you planning on breastfeeding?“ Right away my answer was: „Of course!“ But to be honest, I didn’t really think about „breastfeeding“ a lot during my pregnancy. I was convinced this process will come super naturally. And I would never have thought that breastfeeding could be that challenging in the beginning.
The first 3 days after Raphael was born he lost a little bit of weight (which is normal) – the first night at home was a desaster. So we went to see a lactation consultant. And it was a game changer! I already struggled with latching him on properly at the hospital because he wouldn’t open up his mouth wide enough. We found out that Raphael didn’t get anything from nursing the first night at home. That was probably the reason why he was upset… because he was starving!
Leila, our lactation consultant, started to make a plan with us and introduced us to the „nipple shield“ which we used 3 days and it helped a lot with the „latch on“.
thank you so much for your amazing support and all your love for my family. You helped us so much, especially in the beginning when I struggled a lot with latching him on. Thank you for always listening to my problems and my million (!) questions. I’m so confident and happy with nursing now. I am even nursing him while walking now?! Never could have imagine THIS in the first week! (I bet you remember)
THANK YOU – you are the best!
So here are my top 10 breastfeeding tips:
1. Be patient and kind to yourself: I know it can be frustrating in the beginning. Everything tends to tense up and you are sweating like crazy just to give your baby a little bit of milk. It will get better! I remember how I looked at other moms wishing I could nurse like them. And now I’m nursing him while walking around – since Raphael is 3 months old! Don’t get demotivated, the more you nurse the better you’ll get.
2. Set up a comfortable nursing station. You will nurse your baby A LOT, especially in the first few months. So make sure you are relaxed and comfy – get yourself a good nursing pillow and invest in some comfy nursing bras (also don’t forget to buy nursing pads) Being relaxed helps to keep up your milk supply as well.
3. Don’t be afraid to use a nipple shield. That’ll help your nipple to come out more and it’s easier for baby to latch on. And you might just need it for the first days or first weeks.
4. Working on a good latch is key! Baby will drink efficiently and you won’t ever have sore nipples.
5. Breastfeeding on both sides. That will help stimulating the production of breastmilk. Especially in the beginning while you are still establishing your milk supply.
6. Try different holds. In the beginning when Raphael was smaller I used to nurse in a football hold. Now that he’s bigger I only nurse in a cross-cradle hold which WAS super uncomfortable in the beginning. So definitely try different holds to see if one is more suitable for you and your baby.
7. Put on some nipple cream (for example Lanolin cream) to protect your nipples. If you don’t have any nipple cream handy you can also use coconut or olive oil.
8. Drink lots of water and make sure you are eating enough! It’s important to consume even more calories than before. Eat lots of veggies and healthy proteins. I always have my water bottle with me because I get so thirsty when I nurse.
9. To support your breastmilk production you can drink the „Mother’s Milk“ tea which contains fennel, anise, coriander, fenugreek and blessed thistle.
10. Definitely invest in a good dual electric breastpump. It will make your life way easier. We started to give Raphael the bottle once a day since he was 3 weeks old. Back then I only had a hand pump and it took forever to get a decent amount of milk even though my milk supply was really good! Also you might go through a period where your milk supply isn’t that good as usual and you might need to do power pumping which is a lot easier with an electric breast pump.
You got this, momma – and remember baby eats what you eat – happy nursing! 🙌