Breast vs formula is a never ending debate. I will never say that formula is bad or the wrong way, I simply chose to breastfeed and it worked for me. So here is Volume 2 of The Breastfeeding Chronicles which include my best breastfeeding tips to help aid those who also choose to attempt it. Volume 2 will focus on your breastfeeding experience with your newborn directly following birth. Remember get all the supplies I suggested in Volume 1 in order to be prepared for breastfeeding.
After your supplies are gathered you are set until you give birth. I personally did not attend a breastfeeding course because I would rather spend the time and money figuring it out AFTER the baby is born and I actually have something to work with. Because this worked for me, this is my personal suggestion, but many people have found breastfeeding classes pre-baby very helpful.
Once the baby is born (you know, after all of the exciting contractions and pushing) have your doctor/nurse/doula/midwife place the baby directly on your bare chest for skin to skin contact so that the baby may try to feed. The skin to skin will help regulate body temperature and trying to feed immediately will help you figure out if it is working well right away or if you will need extra help.
In the hospital is when you should really work on the latch. If the baby is not latching, then ask for a visit from the lactation specialist. Most hospitals have them on staff, but some do not. This is something you may want to research before hand so that you have time to find a specialist if needed. Because you will have only colostrum for a few days until your milk comes in, the biggest issue to work on in the hospital is latch, not length of feeding and efficiency.
If you are having a difficult time with the latch, as I did with my first child, here are a few things to try:
- use a nipple shield to make latching easier for the baby
- put a bit of pumped colostrum on your nipple or fed through a syringe near the nipple to get baby interested
- have a nurse bring you a hospital pump to extract the nipple and get the colostrum flowing
- don’t stress because this does affect your ability to breastfeed (remember there are amazing formulas available and your baby will be happy and healthy if they formula feed)
Hopefully by the time you leave the hospital a few days after giving birth you will have the latch down and be ready for when your milk comes in, which will take us on to Volume 3 of The Breastfeeding Chronicles.
Did you have a good or bad experience with latching after birth? Any tips? Comment below!