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While it’s true that breastfeeding is one of the most natural things a mom can do, it certainly isn’t easy. About 50-60 years ago, we made a cultural shift away from breastfeeding. Thankfully, we’re swinging back toward nursing, but there’s still a lot of misinformation out there. Here are some DO’s and DON’Ts that every new mom should know.
1. DO drink plenty of water. This is the #1 thing you can do to keep your milk supply strong.
2. DO be patient. You and your baby are learning a new skill; no one becomes an expert on the first day. It takes time to establish a comfortable rhythm.
3. DON’T accept pain. Breastfeeding may cause some initial discomfort as your infant learns to latch, but you shouldn’t experience extended pain or soreness. If you do, speak with a lactation consultant immediately.
4. DO know the guidelines for successful breastfeeding, including how many wet and soiled diapers to expect in your first few weeks of bringing your little one home. Pediatricians can give you direction, but the best resource is a lactation consultant.
5. DO eat a properly balanced diet filled with protein, fruits and vegetables. You only need about 300 more calories each day, so don’t feel compelled to over eat. Keep in mind that whatever you eat, baby eats too, so you might want to reduce caffeine intake and spicy foods.
6. DON’T wait for your baby to cry before you start nursing. An upset child has a harder time focusing. Offer your breast frequently; you can’t overfeed with breastmilk. Eventually you’ll recognize the early hunger cues.
7. DON’T switch breasts too early. Let baby drain one breast entirely before moving to the next. The first milk expressed by your breast is “foremilk,” which is watery. Your baby also needs the “hind milk,” which is fattier, more nourishing, and regarded as the “bottom” milk.
8. DO nurse when your baby is hungry, regardless of time or place. Nursing limitations may adversely affect your milk supply and your child’s ability gain weight at a healthy rate.
9. DO ensure that breastfeeding is well established before you introduce a bottle. Lactation consultants recommend waiting at least six weeks and leading with paced bottle feeding. Manufactured nipples are much different from your own and may lead to “nipple confusion.”
10. DON’T rush solid foods. Breastmilk will satiate your child for the first year and provides the necessary nutrients for growth. In fact, the composition of mother’s milk changes on a daily basis to accommodate a child’s needs.
Written by Melissa LaHann, Founder and CEO of Happy Fig, LLC
Like many moms before her, Melissa cradled her hungry, crying baby as she clumsily adjusted her bra and sat uncomfortably holding up her shirt. Before she knew it, her baby was squirming, her shirt was falling, and the nursing session was interrupted. She needed a better solution, so she created LatchPal, the first nursing clip of its kind.
LatchPal is a breastfeeding shirt clip that holds up a mother’s shirt during breastfeeding. It eliminates shirt re-positioning and feeding disruptions, and helps a mom nurse hands-free in comfort to maximize milk flow. LatchPal was designed with moms in mind. The multi-use solution only requires one hand to latch. It’s a must-have breastfeeding accessory and essential for post-partum moms, pumping moms, and nursing in public.
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