Breastfeeding is incredibly beneficial for your baby, but it can also be extremely challenging for new moms. It’s time consuming, painful and can make you feel a little like a barn animal.
At a time when our bodies are changing so much, we crave ideas that will make our lives easier.
How can I make breastfeeding easier at night?
Middle of the night feedings will also include a diaper change. Make it easy on yourself by placing all the necessary supplies next to your nursing area, including a bottle of water for you.
Prepare for leaky breasts and baby spit up by keeping a few spit-cloths nearby for a quick and easy cleanup.
Don’t Travel Too Far
Allow the baby to sleep in your room so that you don’t have to trek into a separate room when it’s time to nurse. It may not sound like a big deal now, but when you are tired and don’t want to get out of bed, you will appreciate not having to take those extra steps.
If you are co-sleeping, make sure you are following safety guidelines before dozing off. Better safe than sorry!
Use this time to bond.
It’s easy to grab your phone and start scrolling while your baby nurses, but resist the urge and curb the blue light by bonding with your baby. Breastfeeding is a special time for mother and baby, so cherish this alone time.
Photo via Unsplash/ David Veksler
How can I make breastfeeding more comfortable?
Pain and discomfort while breastfeeding is a common problem for new moms. Thankfully, there are ways to lessen the pain.
Any severe pain needs to be discussed with your doctor. Otherwise, mild discomfort can usually be dealt with using the following suggestions.
Supporting your back and arms is crucial to preventing pain while nursing. The right chair can offer sufficient support, but you can use pillows if you are breastfeeding on your bed.
Use the pillows to maintain the proper positioning of your arms. While breastfeeding, you want to hold your baby at breast height. Put a few pillows underneath your arms to fight off fatigue and keep them in place.
Your breasts are going to be heavier during this period of time. Give them extra support by cupping your breast with your hand, using a position called the C-Hold.
Pick Your Position
Whatever position you choose, make sure it’s comfortable for both you and your baby. You can even try varying your position each time you nurse. This changes where the pressure is placed on your nipples, which can keep them from getting too sore.
Practice and Perfect the Latch
Pain is often caused by an incorrect latch. Keep practicing the correct latch to lessen breastfeeding discomfort.
- Use a nursing bra that provides extra support and fits well.
- Nursing tops are great to wear while breastfeeding, but any top that buttons or zips will work fine.
- Avoid anything that would be too restrictive or that doesn’t give easy access to nursing.
- Nursing moms often find cotton more breathable and comfortable than other materials.
Take Care of Your Breasts
- Comfort packs can help relieve soreness associated with breastfeeding. They fit into a nursing tank or bra.
- Give your breasts a chance to breathe by air drying them after feedings.
- Nipple shields can protect you from a painful latch.
Getting dehydrated will only make you feel more uncomfortable, so keep water nearby for every breastfeeding session and try to have a glass before nursing.
Does breastfeeding get less painful?
Yes, it does get less painful. But every woman and situation is different. Therefore, it’s impossible to predict when your own pain will disappear.
It’s quite common to notice a decrease in pain about two weeks into breastfeeding, but as already mentioned, this isn’t always the case.
Some moms claim they never experience any pain while breastfeeding, while other moms say their pain never went away until they stopped breastfeeding.
This wide range of experiences makes it impossible to predict when your own pain might dissipate, but know that breastfeeding doesn't last forever and you will find relief.
In the meantime, when you know how to make breastfeeding easier, it will be a much better experience for you and your baby.