Beginning Stages Of Breastfeeding – What You Need To Know

The choice to breastfeed your baby is great for both you and your baby. Not only does it provide your baby with nutrition, but it creates an unbreakable bond. Unfortunately, breastfeeding is not always a positive experience when starting out. There are issues that may arise that make you want to give up on your efforts. Here, you will learn a little about the beginning stages of breastfeeding to help you through those first few stressful days.

What will you need to breastfeed?

Most importantly, you will need patience. Not every baby takes to nursing as naturally as others. It can take some trial and error and several attempts before your baby gets the hang of taking the breast.

Now, the supplies that you can actually go out and buy. These include:

  • Quality breast pump – Pumps are not made equally. Spend some time researching the different types of pumps on the market. Look for one that makes pumping as easy and comfortable as possible. Be sure that it has adjustable suction levels. Note: Check with your insurance provider. Some health insurance policies cover the cost of a breast pump for new mothers.
  • Nursing bras and tops – These are important because they will make nursing discretely easier. They will also provide your breasts the support they need without pressing on them when they are full.
  • Bra liners – It won't take long for your breasts to begin leaking between feedings and while you are nursing. Bra liners will help stop the leaks from showing on your clothing.
  • Nipple ointment – A few days after you begin nursing, your nipples will begin to hurt. To prevent the nipples from cracking and becoming raw, use a breastfeeding nipple ointment. This will help keep you feeling more comfortable as your nipples adjust to the constant sucking of your baby.

How do you hold baby while nursing?

There are several different positions for nursing your baby. Some babies do not like to nurse when being cradled in your arms, or the baby could quickly fall asleep and not nurse long enough to get the nutrients that are so essential those first days of life. You can find clear descriptions of the breastfeeding positions here.

Where do you go for help?

If you are struggling, do not hesitate to ask for help. There are lactation consultants at the hospital and your local WIC office, and there are independently working consultants. These professionals have seen every difficulty experienced by mothers and will be able to walk you through any problems that you are having.

Still unsure about what to do? Contact the lactation consultant now. She will be able to assist you with any problems or answer any questions that you have about breastfeeding to make this wonderful time as easy and stress free as possible.