Breastfeeding can come with its fair share of challenges and many new parents are looking for breastfeeding advice wherever they can. Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to nourish your baby while building a strong bond. Whether you’re a first-time mom or adding another bundle of joy to your family, here is some breastfeeding advice and support for successful breastfeeding.

  1. Latch is Key

    Achieving a proper latch is crucial for successful breastfeeding. Many new mothers may struggle with getting their baby to latch effectively, leading to sore nipples and inadequate milk supply. To ensure a good latch, encourage your baby to open wide by gently stroking their lower lip with your nipple. Once they have a wide mouth, bring them close to your breast, aiming their chin towards the breast. Ensure they take in not just the nipple but a large portion of the areola as well. This helps prevent soreness and encourages efficient milk transfer. If your baby’s latch continues to be a concern during your breastfeeding journey, consider reaching out to a chiropractor who specializes in pediatric care. At Pinnacle Hill Chiropractic, Dr. Caitlin Simpson works with our pediatric patients on complaints such as tethered oral tissues, torticollis and feeding difficulties.

  2. Seek Support

    Breastfeeding may seem instinctual, but it’s a learned skill for both you and your baby. Don’t hesitate to reach out to lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, or your healthcare provider for guidance. Lactation consultants can offer invaluable advice on proper positioning and latch, troubleshoot challenges such as low milk supply or nipple pain, and provide encouragement and reassurance during moments of doubt. Many of the local Rochester, NY hospitals also have lactation specialists in-house who can help you and your baby immediately following birth.

  3. Establish a Routine

    Establishing a consistent breastfeeding routine can help both you and your baby adjust to this new way of feeding. In the early weeks, aim for frequent feedings to stimulate milk production and satisfy your baby’s hunger cues. Try to breastfeed on demand, responding promptly to your baby’s cues for hunger or comfort.

  4. Stay Hydrated and Nourished

    Breastfeeding requires extra calories and hydration to support milk production. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day and maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients. Incorporate foods known to support lactation, such as oats, leafy greens, and healthy fats like avocados and nuts. Adding electrolytes to your water, such as LMNT, is a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day. 

  5. Pumping Techniques

    If you’re returning to work or need to be away from your baby for an extended period, mastering pumping techniques is essential. Invest in a high-quality breast pump that mimics a baby’s sucking pattern, and experiment with different pump settings to find what works best for you. Establish a pumping schedule that aligns with your baby’s feeding patterns, aiming to pump every few hours to maintain milk supply. If you are struggling with back and neck pain while pumping, you can even consider switching out your flange to something angled, like the Pumping Pal. The Pumping Pal will replace the standard flange that comes with your pump. 

  6. Common Challenges

    Despite its many benefits, breastfeeding can come with its fair share of challenges. Be prepared for common issues such as engorgement, nipple soreness, or low milk supply. Engorgement, for example, can occur when your breasts become overly full and swollen, often in the first few days after birth. To alleviate discomfort, apply warm compresses to your breasts before feedings, hand express or pump a small amount of milk to soften the areola, and ensure your baby is effectively latching to drain the breast fully.

  7. Self-Care is Vital

    Prioritize self-care to ensure you’re feeling your best physically and emotionally. Breastfeeding can be demanding, both physically and emotionally, so it’s essential to take breaks when needed and practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends or family members, whether it’s with household chores, meal preparation, or caring for your baby while you take some much-needed rest.

Remember, breastfeeding is a journey unique to each mother and baby pair. Be patient with yourself, trust your instincts, and lean on your support system for breastfeeding advice, guidance and encouragement. With time, practice, and support, you can navigate the joys and challenges of breastfeeding with confidence and success.