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Breastfeeding itself didn’t stress me out, but breastfeeding in the car, in the bathroom, at night or other inconvenient times did my first time around. I am still breastfeeding my third baby, and I tell ya, I have found some ways to make breastfeeding a breeze after all these years. These are some great tips that have helped me along my breastfeeding journey to feel more comfortable and enjoy the process a bit longer.
Here are my best tips after breastfeeding three babies:
Nurse As Much As Baby Wants: This was instinctual for me. I just nursed on demand with no schedule. I never had a major issue with supply, because I also co-slept, but the mental attitude of letting go of a schedule and just enjoying nursing the baby when he wanted was very freeing. You can really let go of a lot of stress if you allow your baby to nurse whenever they need it. Its just more liquid gold going into your little one, so why not!
Nurse the Baby on One Side, While Pumping the Other: if you need to get some quick extra milk, this trick works great. The pump will catch and work on the side your baby isn’t on, which will get you tons more milk at once! Then, the baby can work on the emptier side. The baby-body connection is much more powerful than a pump, so your body will adjust to the baby needing more milk, rather than the pump. This helped me get extra milk on the nights or days I needed to be gone for a few hours, but didn’t have milk stored from before. Because I work from home, I never needed to leave long enough to have much milk in storage, and this trick helped me get at least one feeding ready super fast! And, if you do it a few days in a row, you’ll gather up a lot of milk. Also, check out the manual pump my sister loved, and I mention more in this post. She swears by it, and she breastfed twins while working part time for over a year.
How To Fix A Clog: You will know something isn’t right pretty quick if you get a clogged milk duct. I had this a few times if the baby randomly slept longer than usual. I got Mastitus once with each baby, but I was able to avoid it other times by hopping in the shower and expressing the milk from the clogged breast. Some say not too, but it worked for me. I used the hot water to help, and I would just squeeze and squeeze and watch the milk shoot out. Then, I would get out of the shower and make the baby nurse extra on that side to pull out a clog. Then, I would taper off on that side to get the other one caught up by nursing shorter on the side that had the clog, and longer on the other side. Things evened out, and I was good to go. Has anyone tried the cabbage trick?? I just recently read about it, and I should’ve tried it long ago!
Nursing Night Light: These are so wonderful for late night feedings. I am a co-sleeper, so I didn’t necessarily need it to find my baby, but in the beginning, EVERY TIME I woke up to nurse, I had to go to the bathroom so bad. That’s something I experienced in my first month or so postpartum. Going to the bathroom a lot through the night, and you can’t hold it well, so I would nurse then run! I needed the light to keep from falling. It’s just enough to see, yet not enough to wake everyone up.
Always Wear Two Shirts: I naturally like to have a tank or cami on under my clothes. I realized I always did this, the one time I didn’t, and I had to pull my shirt up, leaving my whole belly exposed. What I was thinking when getting dressed, who knows. But, from then on, I always where a nursing tank under my clothes. When you pull one shirt up, with a nursing tank underneath, you barely need a cover. The baby’s head covers most of your breast, so if you accidentally forget your cover, you won’t care much.
GET THESE COVERS: There are a lot of nursing covers out there. Like a ton, but there is a specific kind I love because they pop out, so you can see the baby, and they can look at you, without being suffocated by a blanket. Sometimes they are called a nursing apron, but this pic will help you see what I mean:
Breastfeeding Necklace: I actually never got a real nursing necklace, but I did find out they worked when I wore one of my big chunky necklaces. My third baby like to nurse and watch his brothers, which makes it difficult to get him to nurse long enough to get full. That leaves me constantly stopping to nurse just a little bit. I had my necklace on, and I noticed he nursed much better, and played with the necklace! These work and help, especially if its your second or third (or fourth, fifth…) baby!
Take Probiotics: These are so good for you and baby! The good bacteria helps keep you both healthy, and I love this one because its such a great quality. Probiotics help strengthen you and baby’s immune system, which is super important in the first few months. The gut is a huge part of your immune defense strength and overall health. If this isn’t your first baby, you know how busy life is with older children, and how the new babies are exposed to more germs if they have older siblings. This is one way to help protect them.
Protein Powder and Smoothies: These are fabulous and fast for breastfeeding mamas! I have a whole post on my favorite, super clean protein powder that is fabulous for milk supply and losing the baby weight. It’s seriously good stuff, and its worth it to keep you nourished, and your supply up. Add this with my 5 best foods to increase your milk supply and lose the baby weight, and you will be feeling super good! The other powder I like, that’s a little cheaper is the Fitmiss Delight. That ones is super popular too. I go over more in depth what’s in it, as well as other protein powder options in this post.
Always Have A Cookie: This cookie mix is the best, and I love how it tastes fabulous and helps with supply. Sometimes you just need something sweet, because breastfeeding mamas crave sugar, so you might as well make that sweet treat something nutritious! This site has loads and loads of great products to increase milk supply such as all natural sweeteners, lactation fruit mix drinks, herbal supplements and more that you can try to see what works best for you!
Drink Magic Tea: I LOVE LOVE this tea for milk supply! I’ve mentioned it so many times on this blog, and lots of readers have had success with it. It does have the black licorice taste because it’s a fenugreek tea, so I put almond milk and stevia in it and mask it. I’m not a fan of the actual taste, but I love what it does.
Eat For Nutrition: I talk a lot about this, but think of your body, as feeding nutrients for another body. Eat foods that will offer lots of goodness to you and your baby. Your body is a beautiful machine, and you want to fuel it well. Check out 4 amazing foods you need to eat, and my free meal plan to help you lose baby weight while keeping your milk supply up.
These are all the things I’ve learned so far over the years of breastfeeding. I am slowly weaning my third baby now, which I will get a post up soon on my method to do that. Feel free to leave more tips and tricks in the comments to help everyone!