Wednesday, July 10, 2013

BFing success tips

There are a lot of things you can do to help insure a successful BFing experience. 
*the very first, and most important (I feel) is to delay the introduction of artificial nipples.  DO NOT let the hospital give your newborn a pacifier!  If he needs to suckle, let him nurse! He's lived 9 months without an artificial pacifier, he doesn't need one now. 
*feed on demand.  The more he nurses, the better his latch will be and the better your supply will become.  Immediate and frequent nursing will help your milk come in faster too.
*surround yourself with supportive people.  Whether it's your family, an online community or a BFing mom group, you need support.  BFing can be very stressful on a new mom & without people in your life to support & encourage you, you may not succeed in reaching your long term goals.
*find a good Lactation Consultant that can answer your questions during the early weeks & months.  Most hospitals & birthing centers offer some sort of BFing support groups that meet weekly or bi weekly with a hospital LC on hand. 
*drink a LOT of water.  Hydration is one of the most important things for BFing.  If your body isn't hydrated, how can you expect to produce a liquid?
*take milk boosting supplements.  These include:
          Blessed Thistle
          Marshmallow Root
          Goats Rue
          Brewers Yeast
          Flaxseed (or ground flaxmeal)
*eat oats.  It doesn't just have to "oatmeal" it can be any recipe that contains oats.  Cookies, muffins, breads, etc.  Try to avoid the instant oatmeal & the quick oats.  Old fashion and steel cut are your best options
*Pump early & pump often.  Pumping adds to the "demand" on your supply, so you will produce more.  I wish someone had told me this in the beginning.  I didn't begin pumping till after 3 weeks.  I honestly believe that had I pumped earlier & more frequently that I would have a more generous supply today.

*Use both breasts every time.  Offer baby both sides if he'll take them, or nurse one side & pump the other.  Next feeding time, nurse the opposite breast & pump the other.  This way both breasts get a little action & your supply remains "demanded.  Supply & demand ladies!  Supply & demand.

*eat enough calories to both "feed your body" and "feed your boobies" =) You need to consume additional calories to fuel your body while it makes that precious liquid gold.  Lactation cookies (or bread or muffins etc) are an easy, yummy way to up your calories while boosting your milk supply.

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