As a pregnant parent I'm sure you've been looking into ways to feed your baby. Whether you choose to breast/chest feed, formula feed, or a mix of both, the advice and information out there can get a little daunting.
Today we're going to discuss breast/chest feeding, and offer a few tips to help along your journey. These are some things that helped myself when I was breastfeeding my littles.
- Feed on demand. Newborn tummy's are super small, so they need to eat lots. Breast milk is also digested much easier than formula, so they quite often need to refill their tank (tummy) on a more frequent timeline. That's ok, it doesn't mean that baby isn't getting enough. It means baby is doing what babies need to do. Trying to stick to a schedule can actually disrupt your baby's natural instincts and lead to feeding issues.
- Respond to the cues as soon as you can. To alleviate some of the frustration for you and baby, start their feeding as soon as they start getting a little fussy. Watch for the bird face (when they start licking out their tongue, opening their mouth and making little grunty/skawky noises). Responding to baby early when they are getting hungry can help easy frustrations for you both. It helps getting baby to latch smoother and can possibly help alleviate gas and spitting up.
- Get baby checked for ties. Lip and tongue ties are fairly common and relatively easy to fix. You can ask your care provider to check your little one. If baby has a tie getting it clipped can solve a lot of issues with latch and the amount of food baby is getting.
- Try various positions. Every baby is different and there are several ways to hold your baby while feeding. Find the best for you both and go with it.
- Get comfy. Some people enjoy having a breastfeeding pillow, others prefer to lay down. Do what works for you. Finding a comfortable position where you aren't too leaned forward with help save your neck and back from aches, and will make feeding easier. Be sure to find a way that supports you and babe!
- Keep hydrated. Obviously this is a good tip overall, but when we are feeding our baby we use more fluids though. Have a water bottle handy.
- Join your local La Leche League. They can offer free resources and support along your feeding journey. Having lactation support and knowledge can do wonders when you are first starting out.
- Don't beat yourself up if things don't go smoothly. Both you and baby have to learn how to breast/chest feed, it may not come easily, so try not to get too upset with yourself if you hit some roadblocks.
I hope some of these tips can help you. When I first became a mother and started breastfeeding I didn't have a lot of support. Nowadays the internet has all the information! If you ever have questions, please reach out. Bundle of Joy Box is founded by a couple of moms who've been through a variety of concerns. We may not have the exact answer you're needing but we are always happy to try and help you find it. It takes a village, right?
Are you a breast/chest feeding parent? What words of advice would you offer a new family?
* I am not a medical professional. All information is for educational purposes and comes from own experience as a mother and birth doula.