Blogging Baby Size Six: things to help nursing moms
Nursing isn't always intuitive. In fact, for my first it was downright hard. We struggled for two months to teach our "non-sucker" how to suck. With my second, she latched on easily and nursed like a champ. Having nursed both children for a collective 2.6 years, here are my tips to help make nursing easier:
- A lactation consultant: Even if you think you don't need the help, meet with a lactation consultant at least once to check in and make sure things are going correctly. Many hospitals and birth centers have an L.C. on staff to assist you after childbirth. For later visits, insurance will often cover at least the first one. Lactation consultants are like angels, in my opinion. We couldn't have made it through nursing my first daughter without one.
- Lansinoh: Protecting nipples with a layer of lanolin cream (as long as you aren't allergic) really helps during those first weeks when nipples can get cracked and tender. A little goes a long way, and when you stop using it for your nipples, you can use it under your child's runny nose to prevent redness and chafing.
- Boppy (or other nursing pillow): I loved my Boppy. I found it to be the perfect shape and thickness to support my nursing babes. My three-year-old still uses hers: she sleeps with it as her pillow.
- Heating pad: Have one on hand. At the first sign of a clogged duct, wrap it around your breast and jump into bed with your babe. Nurse and rest. Try to take it easy. A clogged duct (or any kind of breast soreness) can lead to mastitis. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you are worried, but I credit a heating pad with keeping me mastitits-free through two babes.
- Breast pump: When nursing is well-established, you might be ready for a much-deserved break. A breast pump will help you express breastmilk into a bottle easily so others can feed your baby. It also helps to relieve pressure off of engorged breasts during nursing strikes, or when you are weaning.
- Food: Nursing moms need to eat! New moms especially are often too tired to eat properly. Partners, friends, and family should help to ensure that a nursing mama gets enough (healthful) calories.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.