(trying to suck his thumb and eat at the same time)
Hold your baby all the time for the first week. Dont cook, dont get dressed, dont do dishes, dont entertain guests. Your job is to hold that baby! The more skin on skin contact you two have the faster your milk will arrive. Just kindly tell your family and friends that you are both learning the art of breastfeeding and to give you both a week to get settled. No need to pass that baby around for everyone to love on just yet.
Nurse on demand. I know they just ate 30 minutes ago but they are really skilled at getting you to produce yummy milk and the perfect amount that they need. If you fight it, your supply will suffer.
Every time you sit down to nurse, drink a glass of water. It will help your let down and supply. If you notice you arent making much milk you are probably not getting enough fluids
Feed on both sides every time
Stress will make it worse. I know its super hard- oh dont stress about it! But if you are feeling overwhelmed and your baby is having hard time latching go to your room turn out the lights, and just lay with your baby skin on skin for a while.
Put a small bracelet or even a hair tie on your wrist of the side you fed on first that way you know where to start next time.
Pumping is never an accurate way to see how much milk you are making. You dont let down the same that you do with an actual baby. Also dont worry that you arent making enough- you most likely are. If your baby is happy (even if they are eating every 45 min) then you are golden. Babies are like magic they know how to regulate your supply and will make sure they are getting what they need. As long as you give them the option to eat when they want.
They will "go on strike" maybe more than once. Its rare for a baby to wean themselves before a year (le leche legue) They just get busy and distracted! Go in a dark quiet room just let them focus on the only thing going on- the boob. Daddy's are the most distracting so keep them far away! Dont give up, its hard! They might cry and fight but they will return and you will both be glad you stuck it out.
Get a Boppy pillow. If you are short like me and the arms of your rocking chair are uncomfortably high these come in so handy. I rest mine across my belly and on the arm rests of the chair. I dont even have to hold Weston.
A good latch is key. Make sure their mouth is WIDE open before you make contact. Also make sure they cover your whole nipple area with their mouth and keep them from sucking their bottom lip under. It will help you from getting cracked and sore.
If you get a painful spot in your breast it could be a clogged duct. Nurse and pump through the pain. Heating pad and have your parter massage it out for you. It has to work its self out and will only get worse if not taken care of. Feed through the pain! Nurse on that side first every time til its gone.
Establish a good nursing relationship before you introduce a bottle (if you plan on doing that) between 4 and 6 weeks old is the best time to try.
The more you pump the more you make. So if you are saying I am making SO much milk I have to pump or I explode! (I've been there) Stop pumping, yes you will get huge but your body will realize that it doesnt need to produce on over drive and will regulate. Same goes if you would like to be making more. Pump more. Boobs are supply and demand!
GET HELP. Watch youtube videos of what a good latch looks like. GO see the lactation nurses at the hospital or call Le Leche. OR heck, CALL ME. I am totally serious here. When I first had Ryan my awesome nurse told me- its the blind leading the blind. Neither of you know what you are doing. Its only natural because its coming from your body no processed in a plant. Its HARD in the beginning but its so worth it.
GET SUPPORT. Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed. It can be tedious and rough in the beginning so hearing a ton of people you love say "oh just give him a bottle" will NOT help you at all. You have to be determined.
disclaimer- I am not a medical professional, this is all just things that I found helpful for ME in MY situation!
Are there any breastfeeding tips you have to share or something you couldnt have lived without?