Breastfeeding & Nursing Tips

Breastfeeding is a unique experience for every mother and child. Sometimes it comes naturally and intuitively while other times it takes a bit of work to get just right. If you're interested in breastfeeding your baby but aren't too sure what to expect, then you're certainly not alone. Every new mom goes through a learning curve that involves trying out different bits of advice and choosing what works best for them. At Pottery Barn Kids, we've got some tips that you can try to help make your breastfeeding experience a little easier and more comfortable.

1) Practice, practice, practice

The old adage that practice makes perfect applies to nursing as well. When you first begin breastfeeding, the process might feel a little clumsy and you might not feel like you are producing enough milk at the right time. After a few weeks, however, you and your baby should find yourselves settling into a rhythm. You'll learn how to help your baby latch and your body will learn how and when to produce the milk that your baby needs.

2) Use an infant support pillow

Sometimes, your baby may find it difficult to latch because of the way they are positioned. An infant support pillow can help keep your baby in a more ergonomic position when nursing. Even if your baby doesn't have trouble latching, you might still find that one of these handy pillows makes it more comfortable and convenient for you to hold your baby. When your baby isn't nursing, a support pillow can also help keep them more comfortable and supported during tummy time.

3) Try different strategies for relieving pressure

It is not uncommon for nursing mothers to experience an unpleasant sensation of overly full breasts. Using a breast pump to pump some milk between feedings can often help relieve the pressure. You can also try strategies such as taking a warm shower or using a warm compress to reduce the feeling of fullness. Experiment a little bit to find what works best for you.

4) Be flexible with your feeding schedule

Don't let the time on the clock dictate when you breastfeed. Instead, try nursing your baby whenever they seem hungry. Your baby will quickly develop their own feeding schedule and naturally feed more or less according to their needs and growth spurts, and you'll quickly catch on to the signs that it's time to nurse. As long as your baby is nursing on a regular basis and seems to be getting enough milk each time they feed, then you have nothing to worry about.

5) Stay hydrated and well-fed

While you're taking care to make sure that your baby gets all of the nutrients they need, don't forget to take care of yourself as well. Staying hydrated and consuming enough calories is essential both for your health and for producing milk. Keep a glass of water or a water bottle nearby at all times. Eat regular, well-balanced meals of fresh food, lots of leafy greens and plenty of proteins.

6) Don't think that you have to do it all alone

If you have questions or concerns about breastfeeding, you don't need to keep them to yourself. Reach out to friends or family members who have gone through it before or, better still, attend a nursing class or book an appointment with a lactation consultant. Getting through any difficult spots when nursing will feel a lot easier when you have a support network to turn to for advice and encouragement.

Once you've had some time to practice and to try out different tips, you'll likely find breastfeeding to be an enjoyable experience that allows you to bond with your baby.