Nursing your baby should be a comfortable and enjoyable experience for you both, right? Then why is it that so many women find the experience to be difficult, uncomfortable or pain-inducing? Before you throw in the towel and turn to formula, there are a few things that you can try to make the process of nursing more comfortable.
First, make sure you are relaxed. Choose an area in your home where you are comfortable, such as a cozy and supportive chair, preferably with arms. Put your feet up on a foot rest or stool and relax. Use pillows to support your back or arms, and a nursing pillow to prop up the baby to the correct position and make feeding easier on your back. Take deep breaths, relax, and enjoy the closeness of your baby.
Have your essentials nearby. Before you begin nursing, make sure there is a table or other surface within arm’s reach, and place your essentials there for easy access. You might be there a while, so plan to have a big glass of water, snacks, a book, the television remote, a phone or any other items you might need.
When beginning the nursing session, be sure you’re comfortable. Resist the urge to hunch forward when getting your baby to latch – instead, use those pillows to prop the baby up and to support your arms.
Take care of yourself. If you are beginning to get sore nipples, treat them with lanolin made especially for nursing moms. Also be sure to get plenty of rest, as well as healthy foods and plenty of water. In addition, if you are feeling pain or discomfort while nursing, contact your doctor or a lactation consultant as soon as it starts so that you can be treated right away. Mastitis, plugged ducts and other problems can make nursing difficult for both you and baby – the sooner you are treated, the sooner you will both feel better.
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy, but you can do some simple things to make the experience more comfortable and relaxed.