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Nursing Tips for New Moms

Karen Bouris Newton


This past summer, with the birth of my first child, I joined a new moms' group in Berkeley, Calif. It is a great gift to have such a diverse group of women - nurse, architect, office manager, photographer, social worker and jewelry maker - come together to share common experiences as new mothers. One issue that constantly comes up is breastfeeding - from nutrition to milk production. Together, our new moms' group created this helpful checklist:

* Find a lactation consultant while you're pregnant to, if possible, call immediately after the baby is born. Even if you think everything will go perfectly, it's nice to have someone spend time with you simply for peace of mind.

* Have some lanolin ready for your nipples. It's baby-safe, chemical-free and a miracle worker.

* If your baby seems uncomfortable at times, try changing your diet and avoiding the most common gas-causing foods, such as broccoli, tomato sauce, cabbage, leafy green veggies, chocolate and dairy.

* Drink tons of water!

* If you don't always have time to eat a balanced meal, try fenugreek and Mother's Milk tea. They can make a world of difference.

* The famous "Mother's Milkshake" gives you a great boost: 1 tablespoon black molasses, 1 tablespoon brewers yeast, 1 tablespoon wheat germ, 1 banana and 2 scoops ice cream or yogurt. Blend. Eat. Yum.

* If possible, avoid stressful situations. Relax, read...this time will go too quickly.

* Remember that nursing is a learning process for both the mother and infant, and it can be some of the most precious and rewarding moments you have with your newborn.

* Don't worry about losing all the weight now (we know, we know, how can you not worry!). It will come off, and you have a higher purpose right now: feeding yourself and your sweet newborn.

* Be gentle with yourself. All of these life transitions are profound. Not to mention the hormones playing with your heartstrings.

These are the tips we wish that someone had told us. Remember, other mothers and lactation consultants are your most valuable resource and source of support. If you're concerned, pick up the phone and call your friends, your family or a local midwife.

We certainly did.

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