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Breastfeeding Tips

I can honestly say that I LOVE nursing my babies. I breastfed Gavin until he was 20 months old, and I am still exclusively nursing Spencer at 4 months old and plan to continue as long as it works for both of us.

Here's what worked for ME in being so successful at nursing. As always, fed is best, and do what works best for you and your baby! <3

  • Don’t use any kind of pump (not even the haakaa) for the first 6 weeks. That’s the time where your body is still really regulating your milk, and pumping can make you over-produce and deal with engorgement, mastitis, etc.

  • If you are engorged or uncomfortable, try to hand express over the sink or in a warm shower (I took a LOT of showers in the middle of the night if Gavin slept through a feeding time and my boobs hurt).

  • Nurse on demand for at least those first 6 weeks. Usually this is every 2-3ish hours during the day and every 4-5ish hours at night (except the first couple days when they are still distinguishing between day and night, nights can look like days).

  • There is TOTALLY cluster-feeding times of day where your baby will want to nurse every 30-60 minutes. It’s crazy, and it’s nature’s weird way of your baby teaching your body to produce milk. Gavin usually did it around 5-6pm for the first few weeks.

  • Learn the signs that they are hungry and feed them before they get hysterical (sucking on their hand, moving their mouth around like they’re looking for something, etc.).

  • The first night after they are born they will sleep like a rock and the next night they will probably not stop nursing all night long. Everyone told me that and I was like yeah right, but it’s totally true.

  • Don’t even try to work out a schedule for the first 2 months or so, but you can get a routine down with it. You’ll see what works best for your baby once you get to know him, but for me it was like nurse, sleep, awake for 10 min, nurse, sleep, over and over and over. Also, in the very beginning they are only awake like 30 minutes or so between naps. It’s wild.

  • Nursing can take a LONG TIME. For the first few weeks, it would take Gavin 45 minutes to nurse. And you count the “next session” from the time you started the last session so if you start nursing at 9 and it lasts til 9:45 that means you could nurse again as soon as 11 or 12.

  • Always switch sides with the side you ended on. So like nurse on the left, then right. Then next time nurse on the right, then left.

  • For the first few weeks try really hard not to wear a shirt (I lived in a robe) or at least nothing tight as long as possible. I slept topless at night and just put a towel underneath me because your boobs WILL leak lol. The more you can air them out, the better at avoiding infection.

  • Rub a little breast milk on your nipples when you’re done nursing and let it dry completely. Really helps at preventing infection, too. Lanolin is also great.

  • Don’t get overwhelmed by all the different ways they tell you you can nurse. I literally only like cradled Gavin in my arms like normal or at night I nursed him in bed laying down with him next to me on the bed and me on my side.

I hope this is helpful for those of you who are pregnant and wanting to be successful at nursing!

Love, Allison

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