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Real talk: Breastfeeding doesn’t just naturally happen after your baby is born– even though that’s what most of us think.
It’s actually something you and your baby have to learn how to do. (Weird, I know.)
You have to figure out how to hold your baby and what breastfeeding positions work best for you.
Then you have to figure out how to achieve the perfect latch so that milk will flow properly (yes, there’s a right and wrong way).
And all of that can be more challenging to get the hang of than it sounds.
But, there’s one easy thing you can do to get breastfeeding off to a great start.
It’s a secret-not-secret breastfeeding tip many moms don’t do. What is it?
Asking for help.
Really, that’s the secret.
Related: 10 Breastfeeding Essentials to Make Nursing Even Better
How to get the breastfeeding help you need
1. Ask for help while you’re still in the hospital
When I was pregnant with my first child, one of my friends gave me really good advice.
She told me she wished she had asked the nurses for help positioning and getting her baby to latch onto her breast. But she was too embarrassed.
She urged me to not let modesty get in the way of learning to breastfeed.
I took her advice to heart and asked every nurse I saw for help. I was in the hospital for three days– because of a c-section. (While it was weird to have the nurses touch my boobs, it was worth it.)
Each nurse shared different breastfeeding tips and showed me one or more of the many breastfeeding positions I could try.
It wasn’t until the end of the second day that a nurse showed me a position that really worked for me – the crossover hold (also called the reverse cradle or cross-cradle hold).
In this position, my baby was finally able to latch the right way.
2. Take an online breastfeeding course
Another avenue when it comes to breastfeeding education is to take an online class.
The virtual breastfeeding class I recommend is called The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class.
It was created by a Certified Lactation Educator (and mom of 3), and she teaches you everything you need to know about breastfeeding in under 90 minutes.
Here are a few of the topics she covers in the class:
- The biggest breastfeeding mistake to avoid
- Tips for latching & positioning
- Tips for boosting your milk supply & more!
Check it out here.
3. See a lactation consultant
If you’ve talked to all the nurses, educated yourself, and you and your baby are still struggling with breastfeeding, you can also see a lactation consultant.
Lactation consultants are medical professionals that specialize in breastfeeding. They help you troubleshoot problems that can arise with nursing like a baby that won’t latch or a low milk supply.
Ask your obstetrician or pediatrician who they recommend or visit the USLCA.
Many moms experience initial breastfeeding problems.
Not being able to breastfeed your baby is frustrating, but try not to stress as you work through different strategies to make nursing a success.
By seeking help and not giving up, your chance of successfully breastfeeding increases exponentially.
And hey– Getting through the learning curve of breastfeeding has another bonus too: If you have more children, nursing will be so much easier.
When I had my second child, she was able to immediately latch and nurse in the delivery room. I had my nursing pillow with me (one of my breastfeeding essentials) and put my baby straight into my favorite position (the cross hold).
As my husband pointed out, I was a seasoned pro.