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Immediately after birth, most babies are alert and may be ready to feed right away. And in addition to stimulating his digestion, putting your baby to breast within the first hour or so is a great way to bond and get to know one another. Just make sure to manage your expectations and go easy. Breastfeeding, much like parenting in general, will not go exactly as planned.
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The large majority of challenges can be alleviated with correct positioning and a proper latch. Nursing should not hurt your nipples, back, arms or anything else. The more uncomfortable you are, the harder it will be to reach and sustain a happy feeding. If you're experiencing discomfort or don't believe your baby is getting enough, simply ask for help.
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Studies show there is a direct correlation between how much knowledge you have and how much support you receive to your breastfeeding success. Having trouble or just not sure if you're doing it right? Contact a local support group. Just try to go easy on yourself if you hit any snags along the way. You're doing the best you can and that's the most you can ask of yourself.
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INVEST IN ACCESSORIES
To make your life easier, consider investing in a few small items (nursing bra, nipple cream, pads, nursing pillow) to make your experience easier and more comfortable. They can really make a world of difference.
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Do your research and find a pump that works best for you. Two things you should consider: comfortability and convenience. Even better? The Affordable Care Act now covers electric breast pumps, so you may be able to get one free through your health insurance.
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BOTTLE IT UP
Just because you're a nursing mom doesn't mean you can't run to the gym, catch a movie or have brunch with a friend. Your husband or caretaker can give baby a relief bottle of pumped breast milk. Even just one excursion a week can do wonders to enhance your quality time with your little one.
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