Sitting in a darkened room as your new baby nurses is one of the sweetest joys of new motherhood…assuming your boobs don’t feel like they’re about to fall off. Here’s how to make breastfeeding better for you and the baby, too.
1. Be a breast woman. "In the first few weeks of your baby's life, try to focus on feeding your baby—everything else can wait," says Freda Rosenfeld, a certified lactation consultant in Brooklyn, New York, and a mom of three. "Women are so used to multi-tasking, but when you've got a newborn, getting yourself dressed and getting him fed are accomplishment enough!"
2. Sit up straight. Yep, just like mom told you. Good posture can make the difference between a relaxing nursing session and one that ends with an achy back, neck, and shoulders. A nursing pillow can help, but bedroom pillows work, too: one behind you and the other on your lap so that you're not slouched over.
3. Save your nipples! "It took me until kid number three to figure out that if you use the lanolin cream before a nursing session, you can actually prevent blisters," says Kim Beekman, of Saratoga Springs, New York, "With my first two, I had always used it as a post-treatment."
4. Try nursing horizontally. "My milk comes out faster and my baby nurses longer if I do it lying down," says Jennifer Lane, of Lebanon, Oregon, a mother of three. "It also forces me to stop what I'm doing, lay down and snuggle my baby. It's a great way to feel refreshed throughout the day.”
5. Go public (or don’t). Totally up to you. If you’re nervous about nursing in public, find an out-of-the-way bench or chair, like that corner booth in the food court. Or try that trés-chic mom look: A lightweight scarf or receiving blanket draped over your shoulder and your baby’s head. Not into breastfeeding at the mall? No worries. "Some women don’t feel comfortable nursing in public,” notes Rosenfeld, “and there's nothing wrong with that. Do what works for you.”
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