3 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

If you’re a new mom or are planning to have children of your own, you’ve probably heard all about the wonders of breastfeeding from your friends, family, even medical providers. It’s supposed to be an incredible bonding experience for you and your newborn, yet some women struggle to make a connection. They might experience pain or discomfort, or problems getting their baby to latch on. If this happens to you, understand there are several ways to make breastfeeding work for you as an individual.

There are many benefits to breastfeeding your baby. Breast milk is rich in antibodies that strengthen your baby’s immune system and help ward off bacteria, viruses, illnesses, and allergies. Not only is breastfeeding great for your baby’s health, but it can help you slim down following childbirth, and strengthens the bond between you and your precious newborn.

Don’t give up.  Women’s Care Florida has a guide to breastfeeding for new moms. In addition, here are some breastfeeding tips that can help you find relief when you’re attempting to nourish and bond with your child.

Take breastfeeding classes

Many hospitals and birthing clinics offer breastfeeding classes that teach and coach new moms on how to breastfeed successfully. Learn about different breastfeeding positions so you can identify the most comfortable position that works for you, as well as the ins and outs of different types of breast pumps. Knowing all about breastfeeding can help you feel more confident and in control during the act. Plus, you can bond with other new moms who share some of your frustrations about breastfeeding.

Consult with a lactation specialist

Lactation specialists are like breastfeeding experts who offer guidance, tips, and tricks when you’re ready to start breastfeeding. These individuals have seen nearly everything when it comes to breastfeeding, and can provide advice on how to make breastfeeding work for you based on your unique challenges. Ask your OB-GYN about your options for working with a lactation specialist at WCF.

Ask for help from hospital staff

When you give birth in a traditional hospital setting, you’ll be surrounded by nurses and pediatricians who will help you care for your newborn in his or her earliest hours. If you need help with breastfeeding, ask various staff members for their help, advice, and recommendations. By the time you’re ready to go home, you’ll have information, tips, and tricks about breastfeeding that can help you establish a lasting connection with your newborn.

Contact WCF to schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant and to learn more about how we can help take care of you.

Medication safety tips for breastfeeding moms

Breastfeeding is a special way to bond with your newborn. There are many health benefits to breast feeding your child, too. Not only can breastmilk help strengthen your baby’s immune system and help ward off bacteria, viruses, illnesses and allergies, but it can you help slim down following childbirth. However, when you’re breastfeeding your child, it’s important to keep in mind that what you consume can get passed to your baby through breast milk. That’s why it’s important to avoid things like alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine throughout the breastfeeding phase.

The same rule applies to drugs and medications. While most medications are safe to take when you’re breastfeeding, certain medications can have adverse health effects on you or your baby, even if the same medications were considered safe for you to take throughout pregnancy.

Consult with your physician or child’s pediatrician before taking drugs of any kind, regardless of whether they’re over-the-counter or prescription drugs. To learn more about breastfeeding safety and about whether certain medications are safe for you and your baby, make an appointment with Women’s Care Florida today.

Today, the long-term effects of certain medications on your baby when you’re breastfeeding remain unknown. For this reason, try to take medications only when completely necessary, and limit yourself to the lowest recommended dose for the shortest period of time. This can help lower the risk for serious side effects on both you and your baby.

Use short-acting vs long-acting medications

Short-acting medications are those that are eliminated by your body relatively quickly. When possible, ask your doctor to prescribe short-acting medications, and ask about alternative treatments if long-acting medications are your only option.

When taking short-acting meds, take them immediately following a nursing session so the drugs can leave your system before the next nursing session. On the other hand, take long-acting meds just before your baby’s longest nap or sleep session to significantly lower the risk for adverse side effects.

Monitor your baby for reactions

After taking medications of any kind, monitor your baby closely to look for unusual reactions, such as extreme irritability or drows-iness, skin rashes, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive crying. Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if you notice one or more of these symptoms after they’ve been exposed to your medication through breast milk.

Consider expressing and storing breast milk

If your physician prescribes a long-acting drug, or a drug that could cause harm to your baby, consider expressing and storing your milk supply until you’re done taking the medication, or until the medication has completely left your system. Consult with your doctor about how long certain medications will take to leave your body, and ask for assistance from a lactation consultant if you need help expressing breast milk.

Talk to your doctor before starting birth control

Certain types of birth control pills with high doses of estrogen can decrease your milk supply and interfere with breastfeeding. Consult with your doctor before starting birth control to confirm the medication you’re taking won’t affect breastfeeding in any way. Alternately, consider using condoms, a diaphragm, or another birth control method that won’t interfere with your milk supply.

Want to learn more about breastfeeding and its health benefits for you and baby? The board-certified physicians at Women’s Care Florida offer comprehensive obstetrical services and are dedicated to providing the gold-star standard in women’s healthcare. Contact WCF to schedule an appointment and to learn more about how we can help you and your baby.

What should you eat while you’re breastfeeding?

Human breast milk is typically high in nutrition, and offers more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than most commercial baby formulas. To maintain the consistency and quality of your breast milk, you must eat healthy, whole foods that provide your body — and its milk — the nutrients it needs to help your baby stay strong and healthy.

The physical demands of caring for an infant require you to eat well so you can maintain energy levels and lower your risk for illness. Behaviors such as skipping meals, failing to eat the right foods, and drinking too little water can have adverse effects on your milk supply, and on your own health.

Here’s what you need to know about the link between nutrition and breastfeeding:

Making milk requires extra energy and calories

The bodies of nursing mothers must work harder to produce milk, which means you’ll be burning more energy and calories as a result. Listen to your body’s hunger cues, and eat whenever you feel hungry.

Protein is important for breast milk production

Women who breastfeed usually require nearly twice the amount of protein as non-pregnant women who aren’t nursing. Plus, protein helps maximize your breast milk supply. Consume more protein from healthy, lean sources, such as beans, lentils, poultry, and fish.

Whole foods are the best nutrient sources

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy products are loaded with valuable nutrients that benefit both you and your baby. Avoid consuming boxed, processed foods while nursing, and increase your intake of healthy whole foods.

Caffeine can make your baby irritable

Put off drinking caffeinated beverages throughout nursing, and stick to drinking water instead. Caffeine can make its way into breast milk and make your baby cranky and irritable; plus, it dehydrates your body and impacts milk supply. Focus on drinking more water throughout the day to flush out waste and keep your body hydrated.

Talk to your OB-GYN about developing a healthy, balanced meal plan that works best for you. Women’s Care Florida is devoted to helping you and your baby benefit from breastfeeding. Contact us today to make an appointment, and to learn more about our women’s health services.