1. Always have a bottle of water handy when you start a breastfeeding session. The thirst can be immediate & overwhelming!
2. It’s ok to let your baby cry for an extra 30 seconds to go to the bathroom before breastfeeding. It’s a lot easier than the alternative!
3. If you are pumping at work, be sure to schedule your pumping time on your calendar so that people don’t schedule meetings over it. Protect it fiercely!
4. Best time to take a hot shower: right after breastfeeding.Otherwise, you may end up with a good amount of “spilled milk”!
5. To help with let-down when pumping, close your eyes, try to relax, and picture your baby smiling at you or nursing. Works like a charm.
6. *Nota bene* for first-time pumpers: that little dial does not control SPEED, it controls INTENSITY! Take it easy on yourself, especially at first. J
7. Set up your “feeding station” with a comfortable seat, soft lighting, something to read, a little snack, and lots of water.
8. If your breasts get engorged early on, it is even harder for that tiny mouth to latch.Expressing a bit before feeding makes it much easier on your baby – and your nipples!
9. Breastfeeding time is a great time to cut your little one’s nails! It takes a little contorting, but she may be more willing to cooperate when distracted by feeding.
10.Keep a sweater or extra shirt with you and in the car so you can throw it on over your shirt in the event of leaks.
11.Have a book with short chapters or easy reading for your nursing sessions. Many moms also like reading with their Kindle/iPad/Nook since you don't need two hands to turn a page!
12.If you have the option, go topless in the sun for a few minutes (not too many). It feels wonderful!
13.Don't worry about each spill. Just ignore it, and get the carpets & upholstery cleaned once you have weaned.
14.Don't be afraid to ask for help. Lactation consultants are the best resources! No question is too insignificant, especially where breastfeeding is concerned. If your breastfeeding experience is getting you down, find a girlfriend to commiserate with. They will understand.
15.Breastfeed in a place where you can lean your head back and relax. To help with let-down, look up and relax your neck. Soften your shoulders.
16.Don't compromise on the latch. E.V.E.R. A little time now saves a LOT of pain later!
17.If you spray all over, remember that breast milk is good for baby's skin – and yours, too!
18.If it's a choice between fully waking up your baby to eat (so she can last longer between feedings) and letting baby sleep (but more frequent feedings), choose the former when you can. Especially at night!
19.Feed the baby, not the clock. If he is done in 10 minutes, great! A few “bonus” minutes for you to rest. If he needs 20 minutes this time, so be it.
20.Don't be afraid to ask for help! Whoever said breastfeeding is easy & natural was either the luckiest mom in the world or had not ever tried it.
21.If you need a break from visitors, just say "Oops! Looks like someone needs to eat!" and take the baby away with you to a quiet place to sit down and rest.
22.Make sure you have a burp cloth with you before you start feeding to wipe up the mess. Keep a stack of them where you usually breastfeed, just in case!
23.Support pillows do help, especially when baby gets heavier.
24.If you feel like you have tried everything and things are still tough, your supply is low, and the resulting stress is preventing you from enjoying time with your baby, then it's not worth it. You can still bond with your baby while giving him a bottle of formula. We promise!