When someone asks me for suggestions for breastfeeding moms, I never hesitate to share these lifesaving tips!
Here’s the first tip for you:
Feed on cue. Feed baby more frequently during the day.
Feeding your baby on cue might sound like a daunting task being that most newborns will eat between 8 to 12 times in the first few weeks of life. Maybe you’re thinking, “there’s no WAY I can be an open buffet 24/7!” I get it. I’ve been there.
That being said, feeding on cue simply means feeding your baby according to their hunger cues. Our newborns can’t speak to us, they can only “cue” us to let us know what they need. It’s important to pay attention to and learn your baby’s cues. A cry isn’t always going to mean “I’m hungry.” Your baby might need a diaper change, a burp, soothing to sleep.
Generally, when following a feed, wake, sleep, feed cycle (I tell you how to do this in My Babies Made Simple online course) you will get good pockets of rest between feedings. And, your baby will feed the most efficiently/effectively when you’re following this routine. In return, your baby will take their minimum number of required feedings because there will be less snacking and more full feedings!
The next tip I have for you is this:
Understand your breastmilk supply and your baby’s routine.
You’ve got to understand how your available breastmilk supply changes day by day and throughout the day. You won’t have as much “on-demand” milk at 4pm as you have at 9am.
Breastmilk quantity and composition changes throughout the day. Also, as your baby drops nighttime feedings, you’ve got to allow your baby to make up those feedings during the daytime hours. Eventually, you will notice dropped daytime feedings, but don’t sabotage your breastfeeding journey by dropping daytime feedings and nighttime feedings at the same time. Not recommended.
And the final tip I have for you is this:
Take breastfeeding day by day.
Seriously. Don’t let your Type A, planner tendency’s push you to look too far into the future. If you’re newly postpartum and in the early days of breastfeeding, already starting to worry about breastfeeding with going back to work, it is going to make breastfeeding hard.
I recommend starting to pump to build that “stash” around 2 weeks postpartum. Here I want to encourage you to live in the moment. If you’re having a bad day, and you’re “over it!”… don’t quit today. You can be done tomorrow, but don’t let yourself quit on a bad day. If you still feel that same way tomorrow, then you can celebrate that you’ve reached the end of your breastfeeding or pumping journey!