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If you choose to breastfeed your child, it can be a wonderful way to bond with your baby. However, it’s also quite the physical commitment that can take a toll on your body and your schedule. While you’re more than willing to make the sacrifice to give them the best nutrition you can, it’s just as important to take care of yourself so the experience remains meaningful as well.

 

These 10 ideas can make the experience of breastfeeding your baby more comfortable physically and mentally. Whether this is your first child or your second, third, etc., you can never have too many ways to take care of mommy.

  1. Invest in a quality nipple balm.
    Breastfeeding can lead to dry, cracked and painful nipples. Always make sure to apply some balm to your nipples to keep them from hurting. Of course, some sensitivity can’t be avoided, but this will help you stay more comfortable while being active in other ways.
  2. Drink fenugreek tea.
    The herb fenugreek is a natural galactagogue, which means it supports milk production. You can drink fenugreek tea daily if you’re struggling to produce enough milk for your child. Some women say it even makes your sweat smell like maple syrup! As always, make sure to follow instructions for dosage carefully and check with your doctor first.
  3. Designate a special area in your home.
    When you’re feeding your child at home, look for a spot that is relaxing and allows you to be in a position that works for you and baby. It could be the nursery, your bedroom, a sun porch, whatever you like — trying turning on some music or a favorite movie.
  4. Invest in items that make breastfeeding more convenient.
    Whether it’s nursing covers for when you’re out in public or breastfeeding pillows, don’t be afraid to go for the items that will take some stress and strain off of you.
  5. Stick to a schedule as much as possible.
    Now, it’s not always feasible to plan exactly when your baby will need to eat, but the more structure you can build into their routine, the better. This will make going back to work easier, as you’ll need to pump at regular intervals to have enough fresh breast milk for the baby.
  6. Use pillows or blankets to support the baby.
    They can be a custom shape for nursing or just a household favorite, but pillows and blankets can help you properly position the baby for easy feeding that always doesn’t cause you any discomfort, especially in the early days after giving birth.
  7. Choose clothing that doesn’t work against you.
    Some of your favorite items just won’t work if you need to nurse away from home. Go for looser-fitting tops, nursing tanks or nursing covers that you can work with to nurse in public without feeling exposed.
  8. Try a baby sling.
    These convenient carriers can also make breastfeeding more pleasant. Your baby will feel cradled and loved while the sling holds them in place.
  9. Try not to watch the clock.
    While creating a schedule based on the habits you notice in your baby (visible signs of hunger like smacking their lips together, making sucking noises, etc.), you want to avoid feeling rushed or that your child should always nurse for the same amount of time. What feels like a routine one week may change the next. Just try to relax.
  10. Know your rights.
    This last one is important. Always remember it’s your legal right to feed your child wherever you may be, so don’t hesitate to stick up for yourself if approached by a naysayer. Over time, you’ll get more used to breastfeeding and the feelings of self consciousness will fade.

Breastfeeding can be a wonderful experience for mother and child, but don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to get the hang of it. Eventually, you’ll find a routine that suits you. Follow these tips and you’ll have an even better time bonding with your baby.

 

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