Breastfeeding might be natural, but it still requires a whole lot of effort. Both mom and baby are learning how to work together to get to that comfortable endpoint of confident nursing. Still, the journey is quite overwhelming.
Breastfeeding is one of those things that is mostly self-taught. Sure lactation consultants helped me a lot, however, in the most difficult of times, a lactation consultant wasn’t always available to give advice. This is where the independent learning cane in. I’d scour the internet for answers whenever questions would arise. The problem is, there a whole lot of information out there, and if you don’t know where to look, it’s a waste of time. You’re already short of time with a newborn as it is! That’s why I wanted to compile an easily accessible list of helpful breastfeeding charts that could answer most (of course not all) of those breastfeeding concerns and questions that might arise in the most unexpected of times.
This is for all the visual learners because who likes reading long paragraphs anyways nowadays (I’m teasing, I enjoy a read every now and then)!
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1. The Starter Checklist
This chart consists of everything you need before you start your breastfeeding journey! The ultimate breastfeeding checklist!
I would say it does a pretty good job. I would probably add heat compression or a hot shower to the list. You don’t want to get mastitis! Applying heat with some breast compressions to engorged breasts helps unclog some of those milk ducts! So definitely make a note of that!
Other than that, Honest does a good job with this infographic!
2. Information on Breastfeeding
This neat infographic has a compilation of facts and tips on breastfeeding. It isn’t targetted at anything specific, just a lot of basic information on the art of breastfeeding. I also think it’s pretty to look at!
I would recommend reading through this if you’re planning on breastfeeding!
3. The Survival Guide
If you want to stick through breastfeeding, you need to know what to expect. Breastfeeding is an incredible experience, but it can also be difficult. This infographic will make sure you have little surprises.
This is a list of the things I wish I knew before I started breastfeeding! My journey was not easy, but I survived!
My tip, you should really try to know what to expect. You can never really prepare yourself enough for breastfeeding, but setting your mind on the fact that it might not be easy is a good start!
4. No Surprises Infographic
Speaking of breastfeeding surprises, this infographic also offers some tips on what else you could expect from breastfeeding.
It is definitely great to get as many perspectives on breastfeeding as possible. Every mom offers her own experience and gives helpful suggestions for what you can learn from each of hers.
The First Few Weeks
5. Introductory Facts on Breastfeeding a Newborn
The newborn stage is the primary make it or break it stage of breastfeeding, meaning it’s very important to breastfeeding success. These tips will get you a little more prepared for that first period of breastfeeding.
Caring for a newborn baby is stressful in itself, so understanding things like how much a newborn eats and how much wet diapers you should expect, is already helpful.
I will note that generally, you should expect to breastfeed a newborn very often. Breastmilk is digested quicker than formula. Additionally, the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding your baby is establishing your supply. This is referred to as “cluster feeding”. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you’re strapped down to the couch (or wherever you’re nursing) for the most part of your day, during that time period.
6. Growth Spurts Tracker
Growth spurts translate into cluster feeding sessions, and, well, fussiness! Not so fun, I know, but understanding that everything is normal will give you some reassurance that you’re doing just fine. You could either make a note of these times or you could also download “The Wonder Weeks” app which will help you be alert of when your baby is going through a “leap” (I mention other helpful apps in this post).
I promise you that it won’t always be like this, it really does get so much better!
All About Feeding Baby
7. How Much Should Baby Eat?
This infographic will give you an approximation of what is normal when it comes to the length and frequency of nursing along with feeding cues. It also approximates the number of ounces eaten by babies, which can be helpful for moms that pump.
I will note that these are just approximations. Every baby is different and most often if your baby has the right amount of wet and dirty diapers and has a healthy weight gain, your baby is feeding just fine. Definitely, check with your baby’s pediatrician if you have any additional questions!
8. Feeding Cues
The previous infographic mentioned feeding cues, but what I like about this infographic is that not only is it my own 🙂 but it also has pictures!
Knowing how to recognize your baby’s feeding cues does affect your overall breastfeeding experience. Babies are more willing to nurse when they begin showing early hunger cues and are more reluctant when those cues are missed. If you have a baby who is fussy, you will need to calm them first because, otherwise, they won’t nurse.
I have an entire post dedicated to nursing difficulties. What you will discover from it is that the majority of nursing problems transcend from misreading your baby’s cues. If you want to avoid difficulties I would definitely recommend you read it!
9. Breastmilk Evolution
It’s incredibly fascinating how your milk changes with your baby, providing essential nutrients at each stage of development.
10. How to Know Baby Is Getting Enough Milk
As a momma who has been there, this is probably one of the MOST important infographics out there. EVERY breastfeeding mom ponders on this throughout the entire breastfeeding experience. Is my baby fed? Am I producing enough milk? That is why I love this infographic!
11. Wheel of Poop
What comes in must come out. Reading your baby’s poop will also be essential as it will tell you a lot about baby’s health and well-being and reactivity to your breastmilk.
12. Solutions to Common Issues
This infographic, also by The Bump, is very helpful if and when breastfeeding problems come up. A lot of useful information in one image, no need to scour the web frantically!
13. Another Problem Solving Graphic
This chart also tackles breastfeeding issues, particularly the most common ones. It even offers tips on getting a good latch (BONUS!).
14. Latch Perfection
This is an easy (I say this with hesitance because my experience was a little more complicated) step by step tutorial to achieving the perfect latch.
15. More Latch Help
Here is another infographic I found to be super helpful to getting the perfect latch as I can not stress enough how important that will be to your success!
16. How to Use a Nipple Shield
SO I thought this graphic was super important as I had NO clue what a nipple shield was before I delivered my baby girl let alone how to use one. Hospital nurses help, however, knowing your way around one is a good skill to keep under your belt.
17. Breastfeeding Positions
The breastfeeding position you will choose to use will ultimately depend on how breastfeeding goes with you and your little one. However, it won’t hurt to see a few common positioning techniques.
What Can Mom Consume?
18. What to Eat and What Not to Eat.
MomJunction did a great job with this infographic! Knowing what you should and shouldn’t eat while breastfeeding is just as important as it was when you were pregnant! A clearer version of the chart is in the link.
I, personally, have always gone the home remedy route. However, sometimes taking medications is unavoidable, so it helps to know the OKs and the not OKs. I would still suggest FIRST talking with your physician before taking any over the counter medication!
20. Effective Pumping
There are no classes on how to pump, it’s just portrayed as a sort of a self-taught skill. With this graphic, you will look like you know exactly what you are doing while being the most effective at it (and by it I mean pumping breastmilk).
21. Power Pumping
Although the previous graphic focuses on increases your milk supply throughout each pumping session, it should be emphasized that increased frequency (commonly referred to as Power Pumping) in conjugation with that technique will give you the best results (more milk!).
22. Breastmilk Storage
Breastmilk is perishable therefore know how to store it once you pump!
23. Thawing Frozen Breastmilk
Knowing how to thaw frozen breastmilk is just as important as knowing how to freeze it.
24. Paced Bottle Feeding
Who knew that there was a correct way to bottle feed. Well, there is! Paced bottle feeding not only prevents overfeeding, but it reduces colic.
25. Pumping During Work
Most moms pump because they have to work. Ths graphic is dedicated to making the transition much easier.
26. Maintaining Supply While Working
The biggest fear moms have when returning to work is what will happen to their milk supply. This infographic offers great tips on how to make sure your milk supply remains despite you returning to work.
27. When to Introduce What to Baby
Know when you can introduce what to baby with this great, easy to read infographic! Weaning doesn’t need to be complicated.
Who doesn’t like an extra resource?!
This chart is for the dads out there. Breastfeeding might be momma and baby bonding time, but that doesn’t mean that dad can’t bond with baby in other notable ways!
I really hope these graphics help you on your breastfeeding journey. If there are any other useful charts, and I’m sure there are a few that I missed, let me know and I’ll add them to the list! Anything we could do to make breastfeeding an easier experience for every mom!