10 Breastfeeding Tips You Need to Know That Books May Not Teach You

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					You're at the end of your pregnancy and looking forward to holding your first baby in your arms.
After reading all the books on breastfeeding, you believe you are as ready as you can be. But are
you? Here are 10 breastfeeding I learned from experience, not from books.

1. Packing for the hospital

Make sure you put your nursing bras and washcloths into your suitcase. Don't forget your breast
pump. Learn how to use it ahead of time.

2. Before your milk comes in

If you start breastfeeding before your milk comes in, your baby may not be happy. All the baby
is getting is colostrum, the first milk, and because there isn't much your baby can get frustrated
trying to nurse. Don't force your baby. Don't worry, when your milk comes in, your baby will
drink happily.

3. When your milk comes in

Your breasts will become very full and hard. If your baby is available, start breastfeeding. Before
you put your baby to one breast, put a washcloth in the other. Whenever you breast feed or pump
one breast, milk will flow in the other one. At night, wear a nursing bra to bed with a folded
washcloth on each side. If you leak, you will not wake up in a pool of milk. You will save money
by not using disposable breast pads all the time. Save those for when you go out in public.

If your baby is done feeding and your breasts are still hard or uncomfortable, use your breast
pump or pump using your hands. To pump by hand, follow these instructions: With the hand
opposite the breast you are going to pump, gently push in from the outside in. Repeat as you go
around your entire breast. Do the same on the other breast. If this seems impossible, try pumping
in the shower with warm water falling on your breasts.

4. Breastfeeding position

Pick a comfortable chair with arms. Experiment with what position works best for you. Avoid
breastfeeding lying down, especially at night. You wouldn't want to fall asleep and roll on top of
your baby.

5. Let down

Make sure you are as relaxed as possible. When your milk starts to flow, you will feel what is
called the let down reflex. It is hard to describe, but it is exactly what the name implies. It is a
feeling that your milk is releasing.

6. Start with the last first
Start with the breast you ended with last time. Let your baby suck for five to ten minutes. Then
change to the other breast. If your baby falls asleep between breasts, wake him by changing his
diaper. Then breast feed on the other side for no more than 10 minutes.

7. Keep records

Taking care of a newborn can be overwhelming. Write down what time you start breastfeeding
and what breast you ended with. Don't feed your baby more than every two hours from when you
started the last feeding. If your baby is fussy, it may be gas. Try lying him down and burping him

8. Drink fluids

You are advised to drink fluids. Don't overdo it. Unless you have twins, you only need enough
milk for one baby. Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. As your milk supply becomes
established, you will have enough milk for your baby without your breasts becoming engorged.

9. Preparing to go back to work

If you are planning to go back to work, introduce formula in a bottle when your baby is about a
month old. You could wait until six weeks, but if you wait too long, it will be more difficult for
you and your baby. When it is time for a feeding, give your husband the bottle with the warm
formula and then leave. Stay away for at least two hours. Your baby will not like it, but he will
drink when he is hungry enough. There are several reasons you need to leave the house. If you
stay, your breasts might start leaking if you hear your baby cry. It will be too hard not to
interfere. If you don't let your husband learn to feed the baby, he will feel left out, and you will
be so tied to your baby, you will never have any time for yourself. So force yourself for you,
your baby and your husband's sake.

10. Going back to work

A federal law requires employers to provide time and a private, non-bathroom place for you to
breastfeed for one year after your baby is born. Save your milk, if you can, to give your baby
when you are unavailable. Be careful on the weekends to follow your normal schedule and not
go back to your pre-work schedule. If you don't do this, you will regret your decision on
Monday. Your breasts will be too full.

Most importantly, enjoy breastfeeding your baby. If you run into a snag, don't give up. Talk to
other breastfeeding moms or consult a lactation consultant.

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