Breastfeeding may be the healthiest choice for your baby, but that doesn't mean it's always the easiest one. The initial discomfort, always being "on the clock," and the unsolicited opinions from others can be enough to make you want to give up. Whether your baby is 6 days, 6 weeks or 6 months old, here are 16 tips to help you make breastfeeding work for you from experts and moms who've been there. Read this before you give up!
Upgrade Your Pump
One of the most important first steps to successful breastfeeding is establishing a strong milk supply since nursing follows the laws of supply and demand: The amount of breast milk you produce is directly related to how much your baby nurses. If your baby is having trouble latching on or eating, then she may not drain your breasts and your body will get the message to produce less milk. Pumping can help you keep your supply up if nursing isn't going well -- just pump after your baby nurses. (This will also help you stockpile extra breast milk that can someone else can give to your baby in a bottle.)
But a hand pump isn't going to get the job done if you need to boost your supply. You'll want a double electric pump (or even a more powerful hospital-grade one that you can rent from your hospital or from Medela) so that pumping will be fast and efficient. And even if your baby is a champion nurser, being able to pump quickly can give you the freedom to have someone else feed your baby so you can get a break -- which often helps many moms keep on nursing.
Get answers to your 16 top breastfeeding problems.