Mother’s milk is the stuff of life – literally! But the most abundant milk-mama in the world still can use a little info on breastfeeding best practices to take the ache out of her back or keep her clothes clean(er).
You made it through nine months of baby-building. You researched and wrote your birth plan. You planned for the birth, postpartum, and for the needs of your other children (be they human, canine or feline!). You arranged care, toiled over your hospital bag checklist, packed birth plan and healthy stuff into your tote, and breathed through hours of labor pains. Maybe everything in your birth went according to plan, and maybe not. But you rolled with it, and now you’re home with your new darling.
You are super woman! And now, you’re super baby feeding woman.
For weeks, baby’s going to eat every two hours, and if you are exclusively breastfeeding that means your body is doing triple duty. It’s healing from birth, making milk, and recovering energy.
ALL OF THESE ARE VERY BIG TASKS THAT CENTER ON A VERY SMALL PERSON.
Once your milk comes in, things really kick up a notch. But what matters most is getting baby up to breast height so you don’t have to round your back too much.
We don’t often hear that breastfeeding is a pain in the back, but it is. Holding yourself in a position that’s good for baby doesn’t mean it’s easy for you. Lying down can help, if you find the right position so baby latches on well. Sitting in a supportive chair rather than a super cushioned one makes a difference, too.
Either way, pillows are a nursing girl’s best friend. They support you so you can support baby while he nurses. A certified lactation consultant is the ideal person to help you learn how to best prop those pillows.
Breathe… Sometimes, especially when we’re exhausted, we forget to take that long breath and consciously relax. It’s really important once we’re home and other life demands want to distract or hurry us. In response, we often crunch up our shoulders, back, or even our legs.
For now, with baby to breast, you’re not going anywhere. Check yourself for unnecessary breath holding, take a deep breath, and just let your muscles drop and relax. You can still relax but not drop baby.
How many jokes have you heard other breastfeeding women tell about leaking milk? Having the right bras and guards will protect your favorite blouse, even if the unexpected cry of someone else’s hungry little one makes your milk suddenly gush.
While you’re breastfeeding, nutrition is more important than ever. Check with your midwife or doctor to get the supplements that are right for you. And stay hydrated! It’s a critical part of good nutrition.
Many moms say there’s nothing quite so amazing as the time you spend nursing your baby. Give yourself the support you need to enjoy it while it lasts.
To learn more about breastfeeding best practices, download our free Birth Plan eBook now. After three years of research, collaboration with more than 100 childbirth experts and resource centers from Healthy Child Healthy World to the American Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Best Ever Baby Birth Plan Guide is available for a free download.
This new resource for pregnant families is a compilation of top tips and advice from more than 20 nationally-recognized experts in the field including renowned pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene and GraceFull Birthing founder, midwife Elizabeth Bachner. These trusted experts offer thoughtful guidance for whatever type of birthing experience parents want, in whichever setting they choose.
Published: August 19, 2015 | Reviewed by: Kim Walls, Natural Products Expert, Elizabeth Bachner, LM, CPM, L.Ac., Midwife | Last reviewed: August, 2015