Breastfeeding, like most things in parenthood, is much easier when we can learn from those who have come before us. Whether you're a first time mom looking for breastfeeding hacks, or a pro who has encountered a few unexpected hiccups along the way, there's always something to learn from each other.
To some moms, breastfeeding comes naturally with few — if any — issues.Of course, every nursing mom is that lucky. For other, nursing can be a veritable hell on earth. Nipple soreness, breast engorgement, poor latch, low supply, or the old use-mom-as-a-pacifier trick are just a few of the roadblocks moms encounter when trying to breastfeed their baby. And with those struggles comes the feelings of failure and self-doubt, which no woman should ever endure. Breastfeeding is hard, and a mom shouldn’t feel bad about facing obstacles.
So in an effort to help and support moms through breastfeeding, here are some breastfeeding hacks that come straight from fellow nursing moms. We’re all in this together — yes, even when it comes to breastfeeding — and should share any tricks we have to make the process a little easier. After all, you’re sure to endure plenty of challenged as a mom — why not minimize the stress of breastfeeding?
1. Try Different Positions
If the classic cradle hold isn't cutting it for you or your baby, switch your breastfeeding position. Side-lying positions often work well, and some moms get on all fours and let the baby latch on from below. Whatever feels comfortable and get the milk flowing.
2. Use A Nipple Shield
If you're having unsolvable troubles with nipple soreness, which is pretty common, get yourself a nipple shield. Lots of moms swear by them, claiming they are the only way to nurse without pain at first. But keep in mind, nipple shields should be a last resort. Talk to a breastfeeding expert in your area first, if you're considering using one.
3. Get A Nursing Pillow
This was a lifesaver for me the first time around. Nursing pillows not only save your biceps, but they make it much easier to relax while you're nursing.
4. Eat Breastfeeding Super Foods
Although eating healthy in general is a great idea, certain foods can help with breastfeeding. Some nursing super foods include spinach, oatmeal, nuts, and yogurt.
5. Buy The Right Clothes
One thing I learned very quickly was not to leave the house in a dress (unless it was a -neck or button-down). Investing in some breastfeeding friendly clothes will not only save you lots of time, but will give you one less thing to think about when you're feeding on the go.
6. Use The One Pad Method
While grabbing your boobs in public to determine which side is best for you, this little trick is a lot easier. Simply leave a nursing pad on the side you need to feed on next, and just switch it over after each feeding. Easy and stress free.