Motherhood comes with innumerable rewards and joyous milestones. However, it also comes with unexpected challenges. With all the new experiences as a first-time mom, it can be overwhelming to adjust to this new life.
Some moms find breastfeeding particularly challenging. While some women have no problem nursing their newborns and continue doing so for months on end, others may struggle in the beginning or experience difficulties later on.
1. Ensure You’re Producing Enough Milk
The most crucial thing for a breastfeeding mother to consider is if producing enough milk. New moms find breastfeeding difficult because of a lack of milk production. The medical term for this is “infant milk deficit.” If you’re not producing enough milk, your baby will be left hungry, frustrated, and stressed.
The child may cry inconsolably or even become dehydrated. To determine if you’re producing enough milk, you can monitor your baby’s feeding habits. A newborn should nurse at least every two hours but no more than every two and a half hours.
In addition, during each feeding session, your infant should consume between 8 and 12 feedings. Every feeding should be 1-2 ounces. You may have a milk shortage if your baby feeds only one ounce every hour or two ounces every two hours.
2. Try Different Positions and Techniques
If you’re producing enough milk, try different positions and techniques. When breastfeeding, you want to ensure the baby is latched on properly and receives the right amount of suction. If your infant is not latched correctly, the child could not have enough milk.
Your baby’s mouth should be wide open, with the nipple resting on the roof of his or her mouth. Once your baby is latched correctly, you can move on to other breastfeeding positions.
Some moms prefer a laid-back breastfeeding position, while others feel more comfortable sitting up. To minimize any potential pain, support the breast your infant isn’t feeding from with your other hand.
3. Seek Assistance from a Lactation Consultant
If you’ve tried all of the above and are still having difficulty breastfeeding, it’s best to consult with a lactation consultant. Licensed lactation consultants are experts on breastfeeding challenges and are trained to assist mothers in relieving their breastfeeding challenges.
Lactation consultants don’t just help new moms with breastfeeding but also with any challenges moms experience while breastfeeding, such as low milk supply, difficulty latching, nipple pain, and more.
Lactation consultants can often be found at hospitals, birthing centers, midwife offices and even doctors’ offices. If you don’t have access to a lactation consultant, reach out to a breastfeeding support group. You can find these groups in your area by searching online.
4. Supplement with Formula
If you’re struggling to breastfeed and it’s been determined that you don’t have enough milk, supplementing with the best formula, such as the Hipp Dutch Stage 1 formula, maybe your best option.
Ideally, you’d like to continue breastfeeding as long as possible, so begin supplementing with formula gradually. You want to ensure your baby receives the benefits of breast milk for as long as possible.
Gradually introduce a few tablespoons of formula to your baby’s feeding schedule and see how the baby responds. Remember that formula is not recommended for infants under six months old.
When breastfeeding, your health and diet are just as important as your baby’s. Ensure you get enough rest, drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet.
5. Use a Hand Expression Device
If you’re struggling with breastfeeding and don’t want to stop, consider using a hand expression device. These devices allow you to extract milk from your breasts manually. Hand expression is a great option for women who want to continue breastfeeding but aren’t producing enough milk.
It’s also great for women who are returning to work and can’t pump regularly. If you’re looking for a hand expression device, you might want to get a pump that simultaneously extracts both sides of your breast. It will allow you to extract more milk in less time.
Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for a growing baby, which is why you need to know how to do it right. If you are having issues with breastfeeding, don’t be discouraged. With these tips, you can ensure that breastfeeding is a positive experience for you and your baby.