Tips for Staying Hydrated While Breastfeeding

If you’ve recently given birth and started experiencing headaches and problems with going to the bathroom, you could be losing too much water while breastfeeding. Breastmilk is 90 percent water, and if you’re actively nursing, your body is likely making anywhere between 20 and 40 ounces of it each day. While the average person should drink approximately eight glasses of water each day, people who are nursing require more. Follow these tips for staying hydrated while breastfeeding to keep your health in check.

Tips For Staying Hydrated While Breastfeeding
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
Tips For Staying Hydrated While Breastfeeding
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Keep Fluids Nearby

The key to drinking enough liquids is to always have them near you. Get a reusable water bottle—preferably one that holds between 20 and 30 ounces—and take it everywhere you go. You can keep it near your favorite nursing location for easy access.

Pro Tip: Make sure your water bottle fits in your vehicle’s cup holder. You’ll want to take it with you to run the smallest of errands and on the longest of road trips.

Track Your Water Intake

If you find that you’ve been spending a lot of time on your phone, a water tracking app is a productive way to use that time. You can track your water intake to ensure that you are staying hydrated. For those who are pregnant or postpartum, adequate hydration is key to managing incontinence, constipation, headaches, cramps, and fatigue.

Drink When Baby Drinks

Nursing mothers lose more water throughout the day than the average person. Experts recommend that people who are nursing drink 13 glasses of water to stay hydrated. Most infants nurse 6–10 times per day, so if you drink a glass of water each time your baby nurses or you pump, you’ll be well on your way to proper hydration.

How to Ensure Successful breastfeeding with postpartum depression
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Enjoy Water-Rich Foods

Water is not the only way to stay hydrated while breastfeeding. You can get plenty of fluids from the foods you eat. Fruits and vegetables are especially rich in water and nutrients that help your body stay hydrated. Some of the best foods to eat to stay hydrated include:

    • Soup
    • Watermelon
    • Oranges
    • Zucchini
    • Cottage cheese
    • Tomatoes
    • Yogurt

Pro Tip: While you may make coffee with water, and it can certainly add to your fluid consumption, caffeine can dehydrate you. It is best to limit your intake.

When you feel your best, you are more likely to be in a good mood and project those vibes to everyone around you. If you’ve been experiencing headaches or cramps since giving birth, consider these tips for staying hydrated while breastfeeding. While these symptoms can be a sign of a larger issue, more water is sometimes all you need.


Author Bio

Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.

Breastfeeding and Baby Care Tips for New Moms

Breastfeeding and Baby Care Tips for New Moms
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
Breastfeeding and Baby Care Tips for New Moms
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Breastfeeding Tips

One of the most important baby care tips is about feeding baby.  Babies eat a lot of food. While nature has done a decent job of equipping you and your baby with the necessary tools, it will almost certainly be more difficult than you expected at first. Nursing can be challenging, from tender nipples to difficult latching. 

Women who seek assistance have a better chance of succeeding.

Consult with friends who have had positive breastfeeding experiences, obtain a lactation consultant’s contact information from baby’s pediatrician, or attend a nursing support group meeting. 

Make use of the hospital’s services.

Most women hear everything they can about breastfeeding at the hospital. Inquire about the availability of a breastfeeding class or a lactation nurse on board. When you’re about to feed the baby, press the nurse-call button and ask a nurse to come over and assist you.

How to Ensure Successful breastfeeding with postpartum depression
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Get yourself ready before you sit down to feed baby.

When the baby screams for you at home, you’ll want to abandon everything and feed them right away. However, doctors and nurses advise that you take care of yourself first. Go get yourself a glass of water or use the restroom before you start breastfeeding since breastfeeding will take a long time.

Dealing with Engorgement

If your breasts are engorged or your ducts are plugged, use a warm compress and breast compression. A heating pad or a soft, wet washcloth will help, but a flax pillow which you will find at beauty and health stores, will be much more effective. Use them as a compress by heating them in the microwave. However if your breasts are swollen after breastfeeding, use a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack to soothe your breasts and reduce swelling.


Additional Baby Care Tips

Keep Your Cool

No matter how ecstatic you are to become a parent, the daily treatment that a child requires can be exhausting. Reduce your stress levels to cope and take short breaks as opportunities to take care of yourself. If you are not doing well, it is going to be extremely difficult to deal with. So remember to prioritize yourself as well.  

Make your own rules

First and foremost, disregard any unwelcome or perplexing suggestions. Don’t feel forced to do anything that you don’t want to, It’s your child, so follow your gut instincts to make the decisions. Make sure you know which advice to take and which to disregard. 

How to Make a Postpartum Plan for a Smooth Recovery
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Shop in advance

Make sure you do your shopping for the baby well in advance. Babies tend to soil clothes a lot and require changing at least five times a day. Buy organic baby clothes for your baby, preferably in cotton as it is soft on your baby’s skin and extremely durable. It is also a safe bet to prevent your baby from allergies and rashes. You can also invest in grow suits and baby muslin wraps  for your baby.  

On the fence about whether to use cloth or disposables? Consider using eco-friendly bamboo diapers and wipes from EcoPea  for your little one.  Not only are they hypo-allergenic and better for baby’s skin, but they’re biodegradable and better for the planet.

EcoPeaCo eco-friendly disposable diapers
EcoPeaCo

It’s okay to be a little lost, do your research and ask for help if required and connect with your pediatrician whenever necessary. Happy parenting!  


Author Bio

I am Lana Murpy, a post-graduate in humanities and communications, and an inquisitive person who loves writing. My forte is digital marketing and everything that has to do with phones and screens. I’m working for Tiny Twig. I am someone who believes that one person can make a change and that’s precisely why I took up writing which is the best tool to communicate these days. I have a decade of experience in writing and marketing. 

 

5 Basic Breastfeeding Products All New Moms Need

There are millions of baby related products out there, but when it comes to breastfeeding, all you really need is a good milk supply and a hungry baby.

I compiled a list of my favorite breastfeeding products because, while I could have still done it without them, they all provided me with one important thing – C O M F O R T!  And being comfortable while breastfeeding is so important to developing that good milk supply.

5 Basic Breastfeeding Products All New Moms Need
*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.
5 Basic Breastfeeding Products All New Moms Need

1. Boomerang Nursing Pillow

Jolly Jumper Boomerang Nursing Pillow
I received this Jolly Jumper Boomerang Nursing Pillow as a gift at my baby shower and it has become a staple in my house.  It is so much more than just a breastfeeding pillow…

During pregnancy, it was the perfect shape to both support my stomach and tuck between my legs while sleeping.  The boomerang shape was also perfect to tuck behind me in bed for extra support while sitting upright.

I loved it for breastfeeding because it was so versatile.  I could fold it half if I needed firm support under just one arm, or lay it across my lap.

The little fold at the end of the pillow case acted as a pocket – perfect for stashing washcloths and nursing pads (ok, let’s be honest, for my cell phone).

The shape was just right for propping baby up at any age.  Whether I laid baby on their back or tummy, I found that the “V” shape was better for supporting them than the “U” shaped pillows and I could easily bring the sides in for more security.

It’s so soft!  This may be a disadvantage to some who are looking for firmer support in a nursing pillow but I loved how flexible it was compared to other ones.

I stopped breastfeeding a long time ago, but this pillow is still my favorite one to have around the house – specifically for cuddling up on the couch or propping myself up in bed.  (It’s recently come in very handy during my battle with chronic pain.)


2. Medela Breast Pump

Medela Swing Single Breast Pump
Like many first time moms, I didn’t buy a breast pump before the baby was born because I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to breastfeed.

After my first child was born, I inherited a brand new Medela Swing breast pump from a friend.  Since I had never used a breast pump before, I thought it was fantastic – but I didn’t have anything to compare it to.

So when I was pregnant with my second child, I stupidly sold my Medela Swing and “upgraded” to a fancy double electric pump because I assumed that two was better than one. BIG MISTAKE! It had no where NEAR the sucking capacity of the Medela…

Medela Harmony

I went back to the basics with the third one. Since none of my kids were big fans of bottles and I wasn’t going back to work – my pumping requirements were very minimal.  This time I chose the Medela Harmony manual pump.

My favorite feature was the ability to stimulate the nipple with the pump to initiate a let down.  This is super important when your nipples aren’t as sensitive anymore (i.e. after breastfeeding three kids).  I also found that I could pump more milk simply by being able to manually control the rhythm of the suction.

The Medela Harmony is a great little breast pump for days when you’re away from baby or feeling extra engorged.  It’s perfect for traveling, easy to clean and is a no-fuss solution.  The Medela Swing is a better option for more regular pumping.


3. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads

Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads
I had an excess milk supply and an overactive let down reflex which meant that I leaked milk A LOT.  

Because of that, I tried SO MANY different brands and types of nursing pads before deciding that these Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads were beyond compare.

They are SUPER absorbent.  They resembled a full diaper when they were soaked, but they didn’t leak no matter how much milk spilled into them. Like a sanitary napkin for your boobs.

They have a sticker on the back so they stay in place! So simple, but so important.

You can’t see them through your bra.  They’re not bulky or “papery” and they don’t have weird lines or patterns on them.

They are super comfortable.  Even with raw, sore nipples.

They’re individually wrapped.  Not in pairs which is great because I often had to change just one at a time.  They’re also easy to throw in the diaper bag, purse, gym bag, even small enough to keep in your pocket.

They usually included a free gift (sample) in the box like breast milk collection bags, or individual packets of baby wipes.


4. Tank Tops with a Built-In Shelf Bra

Women's Camisole Built-in Shelf Bra Adjustable Spaghetti Straps Tank Top Pack
Amazon.com
I bought way too many nursing bras.  I thought I was going to need them all but what I wore almost every day while I was breastfeeding is one of these tank tops with the built in shelf bras.

If you’re going to buy them, buy them in bulk because you’re going to get milk and baby spit up on them, and you’re eventually going to have to do laundry, but you’re going to want to put another one on right away.

The built in shelf bra is important because you need the support and also something to hold your nursing pads in place (those stickers can’t do it all).

They’re comfortable enough to sleep in.  In fact, I think there was barely a moment when I wasn’t wearing one of these tank tops during my breastfeeding years.

I wore them as a base layer under all my other shirts so that when I had to nurse in public I just pulled up the top shirt, and then pulled the tank top down to expose the nipple.  All that was visible between the two shirts was a small opening (covered by baby’s head anyway) and I didn’t have to fuss with an annoying nursing cover.  Not that I cared, but most people couldn’t even tell I was nursing.


5. Breast Shells

Philips AVENT Comfort Breast Shells Set
Philips Avent Breast Shells
No one even told me these existed, I found them by accident…

When I breastfed for the first time – my nipples felt like they were on fire.  I expected some pain with breastfeeding, but it turned out that I had a cracked nipple and developed mastitis. My nipples hurt so badly that merely a shirt or bra touching them was enough to make me wince in pain.

So I went on the hunt for something to help.  I was looking at nipple shields which I didn’t buy but found these Philips AVENT Comfort Breast Shells instead and they ended up saving my nipples and ultimately, my breastfeeding relationship.

Basically they are a protective dome for your sore nipple. There is a soft silicone part that is shaped like a donut and goes against your breast.  Then the hard plastic cup shields your nipple from chafing or being hit or poked by accident.

They are comfortable enough to wear to bed they are designed to collect any breastmilk that leaks out.  So while you’re nursing, you can wear it on the opposite breast to collect and save that precious liquid gold.  

If you’re extremely engorged they can be a bit painful to wear.  But they will greatly help to reduce flat nipples and even release a bit of pressure from engorgement.  Pop them in the fridge when you’re not using them and the cooling sensation will also give you relief from engorgement! 

How, When & Why to Use the Breast Compression Technique while Breastfeeding
Breast Compression

Breastfeeding Products

For more breastfeeding help, check out Milkology 

Milkology Online Breastfeeding Courses

Milkology is a 90 minute online breastfeeding class run by certified lactation specialist, Stacy Stewart.  For less than $20, you can get some amazing tips for breastfeeding success – with a money back guarantee!


How, When & Why to do Breast Compression

Breast compression is the underdog of breast feeding techniques. 

Emphasis is rarely put on the importance of breast compression in those first few weeks after the milk comes in.  It sounds self explanatory, right?  You just squeeze your breast, what’s so hard about that?  I did breast compression with my first.  And my second…   I think? 

The fact that I can’t even remember doing them means that they weren’t important to me back then.  After learning how to do them properly with my third one, and learning all the reasons why and when, I realized that I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I had known about this the first time.  And the second.

Learn more about how to do this important breastfeeding technique!
How, When & Why to Do Breast Compression
*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

HOW

Step 1: Get your baby latched on properly.

latch-infographic
I like this infographic from The Milk Memoirs 

After baby starts sucking you may FEEL your milk let down (not all women can feel it) and/or SEE your baby’s sucking start to become longer and slower.  

[Related Reading: D-MER: When Breastfeeding Makes You Feel Sad]

Step 2: Grasp your breast with whichever hand feels more comfortable. 

Some might prefer to grasp with the hand closest to the breast, others might be more comfortable reaching across their body.  This will also depend on what position you are holding your baby in to nurse.  You can switch it up throughout the feeding.

Step 3: Hold your thumb on top of the breast and the other four fingers on the bottom of the breast. 

Your hand will form a letter “C” (it helps to imagine you’re holding your breast like a cheeseburger).  Try to keep your hand close to your chest.  You want to stay as far back from the nipple as possible so you don’t affect baby’s latch.  It’s not as effective to squeeze the breast from the sides or to use a “scissor” hold.

Step 4: Squeeze as hard as you can handle.  It shouldn’t hurt, but you want to use firm pressure, especially if your breasts are engorged.

Do not move your fingers around or slide them towards the nipple.  Try not to rub or massage the breast as this can cause irritation on the skin.  If you have extremely full breasts, whether it’s the first morning feed or when your milk first comes in, you may feel “lumps” of milk.  Concentrate on putting pressure on those spots first.

clogged milk duct
Mom Smart Not Hard | momsmartnothard.com

Step 5: Squeeze one spot for roughly 10 seconds (or as long as baby continues to suck) and then release.

You will notice baby take longer, bigger gulps, some milk might even leak out from the corners of their mouth.  That section of the breast will start to soften. Baby may temporarily stop sucking after a few big gulps to rest.

Step 6: Wait for baby to start sucking and compress the breast again.

You can try moving your fingers onto a different spot or switching hands to access the other side of the breast.


WHEN and WHY

DO NOT do them before your milk comes in.  I mean, you can, but there’s no point.

Do them when your milk comes in.  You will have a lot of it and your newborn baby will get tired of sucking before they get to that hind milk.

Do them when your breasts are really full.  Usually in the morning or if you’ve been away from baby and haven’t fed or pumped in a while.   It’s a great way to empty out full and sore breasts very quickly and make sure that baby is getting to the hind milk before they get too full.

Turn Up The Heat breast pads
TheDandelionShoppeUS on Etsy

The Turn Up The Heat breast pads by TheDandelionShoppeUS on Etsy are perfect for warm relief during engorgement and also cold relief to treat soreness. They have a removable machine washable cover and I love the hole in the middle to avoid irritating sore nipples!

Do them when your breasts are not full.  Doing compression during feeds even when your breasts feel empty will help drain the milk glands completely which will increase your milk supply.

Do them when you have a clogged milk duct. This is when one of those “milk lumps” gets stuck and doesn’t want to empty.  Put a warm wet washcloth on top of the breast first and then apply lots of pressure to that stuck lump while you nurse.

[Related Reading: How to Clear a Clogged Milk Duct and Prevent Mastitis from Mom Smart Not Hard]

Do them while pumping. Breast pumps are not as efficient at emptying a breast  or getting enough hind milk.  A good example of this is to compare a bottle of pumped milk while doing compression vs. without.  You will see a higher fat content in the bottle pumped with compression.

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Do them when you have incredibly sore nipples.  Baby won’t have to suck as hard to get enough milk (giving your nipples a bit of relief) and it will also speed up the length of the feeding.

Do them when baby falls asleep at the breast and/or stops sucking.  Breast compression will either make baby start drinking some more, or spit out the nipple if they are full.

Do them when baby cluster feeds.  The hind milk will help baby to feel fuller for longer and can reduce the amount of time you spend feeding.

[Related Reading: A Complete Guide to Cluster Feeding by Mom Smart Not Hard]

Do them during night time feedings or dream feeds.  Babies are quite drowsy in the middle of the night and may not suck with the “power” that they use during the day.  Doing breast compression can help baby get milk more efficiently so that everyone can go back to bed.

Do them if your baby has greenish-colored poops.  The greenish color could be because they’re not getting enough hind milk.

Do them if your baby gets a slight diaper rash.  Not enough hind milk can change the consistency of baby’s poops and cause their bums to get red. (Plus, switch to hypo-allergenic bamboo diapers to help ease persistent diaper rashes)

How to Ensure Successful breastfeeding with postpartum depression
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There are so many benefits to using breast compression!

The biggest WHY is to get baby the hind milk that has a higher fat content.  It will help them to gain weight faster and stay full longer.

I know that breast compression is usually only suggested in the first couple months – during the time when breastfeeding is still trying to become well established.  But I became SO obsessed with doing them because I was able to see the benefits in my baby right away that I continued to do them whenever I felt it was necessary.

Breast Compression Infographic
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How, When & Why to Use the Breast Compression Technique while Breastfeeding How, When & Why to Do Breast Compression How, When & Why to Do Breast Compression

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The most detailed information specifically about breast compression is by Dr. Jack Newman on the International Breastfeeding Center website (IBConline).


Another good site to check out for more visual aids is Breastfeeding.Support it’s run by IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) Philippa Pearson-Glaze and the site has a ton of breastfeeding articles, tips and advice with some great pictures.


Milkology is a 90 minute online breastfeeding class run by certified lactation specialist, Stacy Stewart.  For less than $20, you can get some amazing tips for breastfeeding success – with a money back guarantee! 


A great breastfeeding resource is the Breastfeeding Handbook from Mom Smart Not Hard.   Download, print and put it into a binder to have access to everything you could possibly need to know about breastfeeding.


A lot of women who experience breast pain during pregnancy might have concerns about breastfeeding and engorgement.  Learn more about breast pain during pregnancy in this article from Mom Loves Best.  


This awesome article from Positive Health Wellness has tons of information about breast changes during pregnancy.

check it out!
Benefits of Breast Compression
How to Use the Breast Compression Technique How to use the Breast Compression Technique How, When & Why to Use the Breast Compression Technique while Breastfeeding