New and expectant moms are often offered a barrage of advice on the best way to parent their child. From the best cures for morning sickness to recommending formula versus breast milk, friends and relatives love to offer advice based on their own experiences. When it comes to breastfeeding, however, few tips are going to be more valuable to a new mom than breastfeeding and breast pumping tips that actually work. If you can’t schedule some one-on-one time with a lactation consultant, let Pumps for Mom give you a breakdown of some of our top breastfeeding and breast pumping tips.
Find the Best Breastfeeding Positions for You
There is no one right position that will guarantee successful and comfortable breastfeeding. Every mom and baby breastfeed differently, and a position that worked for your friend or relative may not work for you and your little one. Try out different feeding positions until you find a setup that is comfortable for you and helps your little one feed to their heart’s content. Breastfeeding may be exhausting, but it shouldn’t be painful, so keep trying new positions until you find one that works for you.
Help Your Baby Get a Good Latch
As simple and natural as the idea of breastfeeding may seem, getting your little one to latch properly is harder than it sounds. Encouraging your baby to latch can be a time-consuming process, so don’t be afraid to keep trying different positions throughout feedings until you notice signs of a good latch. When beginning a feeding, you can encourage proper latching by tickling your baby’s lips to get them to open their mouth wide and extend their tongue as they latch to the nipple. If the latch is painful, put a clean finger in your baby’s mouth, gently break the latch, reposition, and try latching again.
Don’t Be Afraid of Cluster Feeding
As your little one experiences growth spurts, he or she will likely ramp up the frequency of feedings–as often as every 30 minutes for some–to make sure they have enough breast milk to grow. These frequent meal times, known as cluster feedings, prompt your milk supply to increase so your baby has enough breast milk to meet their growing demand. Use a breast pump as often as you can to increase your milk supply and keep a bank of expressed milk on hand if cluster feedings become overwhelming. These frequent cluster feedings can be exhausting for moms, but they are based on your little one’s instincts for what they need to grow. Embrace the extra time you get to spend with your baby during these feedings!
Not All Breast Pumps Are Created Equally
Although the Affordable Care Act makes it possible to get a free breast pump through insurance, don’t just select the first breast pump that your insurance recommends without doing some research first. For moms looking for maximum breastfeeding efficiency, a double electric breast pump is the way to go. Moms can pump from one or both breasts and easily become pros at breast milk storage. The best hospital-grade breast pumps, such as the Spectra S1, Ameda Mya, and Spectra S2, mimic an infant’s natural feeding behavior and help moms pump quickly and easily. Do some research to see how to get the best breast pump through insurance for you and your little one.
Look Out for Feeding Cues
Each baby has unique feeding cues that help them communicate with mom or dad about their needs. It will become easier to detect these cues over time, but some common indicators of hunger can be seen when babies bring their hands to their face, suck on their fingers or hands, or flex their arms or legs. Some signs that your baby may be full include turning away from a bottle or breast, becoming disinterested in feeding, or starting to fall asleep.
Stock Up on the Best Foods for Breastfeeding
As tempted as new moms may be to immediately cut out carbs to lose any pregnancy weight, a balanced, nutritious diet for moms is essential to breastfeeding success. Some of the best foods for breastfeeding moms include protein-packed foods for energy like lean meats, beans, lentils, and fatty fish like salmon, as well as fruits and vegetables full of vitamins and minerals. The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other fatty fish promote heart health for breastfeeding moms and encourage infant brain and nervous system development, while vitamins and minerals keep mom and baby feeling their best. Additionally, staying hydrated is necessary for breastfeeding moms to feel their best. Breastfeeding is a lot of work for moms’ bodies, and it’s important to drink enough water to keep your body working well for your little one.
Don’t Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself
Even if new moms follow all of these tips to try and master breastfeeding, it still may not come easily, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be the perfect breastfeeding mom. Ready for a breastfeeding break? Express milk using a breast pump and hand that bottle off to a loved one while you rest. Using a different breastfeeding technique or position than one that a family member suggested? Zone out unwarranted advice, and remember that you know what is best for yourself and your baby. There is no one right way to breastfeed your little one, so be kind to yourself as you learn what works for you.
Breastfeeding is no easy task. Whether you receive guidance from a lactation consultant or rely on tips and tricks shared from other moms online, be patient with yourself, and remember that practice makes perfect.
At Pumps for Mom, we are passionate about helping new and expectant moms through the breastfeeding journey with a breast pump through insurance. Pregnancy and motherhood can be challenging, but getting a free breast pump with insurance doesn’t have to be. Our qualification form makes it easy to see which insurance breast pumps you qualify for immediately without having to wait for a member of our team to get in touch with you. Simply fill out your insurance information, browse our selection of top breast pump brands, select the best breast pump for you, and we’ll take care of the rest. Order your breast pump through insurance with help from Pumps for Mom today!