Know if your baby is nursing effectively and getting enough milk - this excellent video from Global Health Media describes how to count diapers to know if baby is drinking enough, and also describes how to tell if baby's latch is effective enough to get milk. This printable handout describes how to count diapers and more - it's helpful to print and have with you just after birth.
Deeper More Effective Latch - There are several videos that describe how to get a deeper, more effective, and more comfortable latch:
Laid Back Breastfeeding - In the early days of breastfeeding, many parents are taught positions like the cradle and football holds - but these are sometimes challenging and uncomfortable, especially if you do not have supportive pillows for both you and your baby. Instead, try the “training wheels” of breastfeeding - Laid Back Nursing. It’s very comfortable for you and your baby and no special pillows are needed. Here are Laid Back (also called Natural Breastfeeding) resources - a wonderful article (with the eye-opening title "Many Moms Have Been Taught to Breastfeed Incorrectly") and a very helpful video on laid back feeding (or video clips).
Help baby get more milk at a feeding, and also increase supply, by using breast compressions - this wonderful video describes this easy and valuable skill.
Engorgement, massage and hand expressing colostrum (or milk):
Help with Nipple Shields - Many women are given nipple shields in the early days of breastfeeding. Unfortunately, they are often provided with little instruction. If you are using a shield to latch, it's important that it fits you well, that you know how to use it, and it's also important to work with an IBCLC when you get home to determine why it's hard to latch without it. Here's a very good video on nipple shield use from DIY Breastfeeding.
Pumping in the early weeks - if breastfeeding (supply, latch, etc) is going well, it is not necessary to pump in the early weeks. However, if you are having breastfeeding problems it is essential that you pump or hand express (see above) your milk many times a day to keep your supply flowing. Here are some helpful pumping resources to help you get started - how to use your hands to massage while pumping and how to fit flanges properly to your breasts. If you are having problems that require you to pump in the early days, make an appointment with an IBCLC experienced with pump function, flange fit, helping to devise a good schedule for you, exclusive pumping, combining pumping and nursing, and more. Please see my contact info if you are in the Princeton, NJ area. If you are not in my area, please also feel free to contact me and I can help you find an excellent IBCLC where you live.
Combat Misinformation and learn more info by referring to these evidenced-based resources:
- Kelly Mom (extensive list of parenting and breastfeeding resources)
- MOBI Motherhood International (extensive list of breastfeeding resources - low supply, tongue/lip ties, sensory issues, dealing
with fast flow, dealing with slow flow, baby's oral-motor skills, and so much more)
- The International Breastfeeding Centre has excellent videos and info sheets on many topics.
- Nancy Mohrbacher (breastfeeding, pumping and storage resources, and more)
- Low Milk Supply (lots of information on building supply and more)
- Podcasts! So informative on many topics - all are available through their websites (linked here) or through a podcast app.
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