Breastfeeding: 11 Things That May Help
Planning to breastfeed your baby? These items may come in handy.
7. Space in Your Bedroom
Having your baby sleep in your room for the first several months can help make middle-of-the-night feedings go more smoothly.
"Infant feeding cues start out softly and accelerate," Knox says. "Feeding tends to go easier if you catch the baby at the beginning of the feeding cues. That will allow for the best emptying of the breast, so you can make milk more efficiently."
You could move your baby's crib into your room. Or you could buy a special co-sleeper crib that attaches to the side of your bed.
Don't put the baby in your bed, though. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against co-sleeping with your baby, because there's a chance that you could roll over your baby while sleeping and suffocate the baby.
8. A Drink of Water
Many lactation experts tell new moms to drink water whenever they nurse. And with good reason:
"If you get dehydrated, your milk supply will suffer," Knox says. "If your pee is dark and not very frequent, it's a sign that there's not enough water going through your body. You want pale yellow urine."
How much water should you drink? Everyone's needs vary, but many non-nursing women strive for eight 8-ounce glasses daily. You'll need to drink your usual amount, plus more to account for the baby's needs. You will probably need at least three to four extra 8-ounce glasses a day, for a total of 11-12 glasses of fluids a day.
9. An Ever-Present Diaper Bag
Babies digest breast milk quicker than formula, leading to frequent dirty diapers. So you'll need a well-stocked diaper bag.
In it, pack:
- A changing pad or towel
- A change of clothes for the baby
- Breast pads, a drink, and a cover-up for yourself
Everything should fit comfortably into a typical diaper bag.