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Guide to Breastfeeding

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How to make breastfeeding easier

Nursing can be physically draining. So rest as often as you can, and drink lots of water. Consider letting your baby sleep in your bedroom in a crib, bassinet, or co-sleeping attachment (a low crib right next to your bed) so you don't have to go far to feed her. Initially, nursing can be painful. A topical moisturizing cream for your nipples may help - just ask your doctor which kinds are safe for your baby. And, of course, support from your partner, family, or friends can make the process easier.

Mastitis

If you have a sore breast and a fever while breastfeeding, you may have an infection called mastitis. Flulike symptoms are typical - fever, chills, headache, body aches, and fatigue - along with an area of the breast that's tender, red, and firm. Mastitis is often preceded by engorgement, an infected cracked nipple, or simply exhaustion. Ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and pain, and ice or warm packs can also provide comfort. But you'll want to call your doctor immediately. He may prescribe an antibiotic or another treatment.

How to increase your milk supply

The key to stimulating production is to empty the breasts. So if your newborn doesn't nurse vigorously, expressing with a breast pump for about ten minutes immediately after each feeding can drain most of the remaining milk. It can also help relieve engorgement and coax flat or inverted nipples to protrude more.

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