Breastfeeding Tips from Breastfeeding Mums
Don’t give up!
When you first start breastfeeding it is often a lot hard and more painful than you expect. So many women give up. With the right help and support most women are able to breastfeed. There are very few women who physically cant. It is worth persevering if you can. There are health benefits for both you and baby plus once you have it mastered it is so much easier that sterilising and heating bottles.
Drink & eat healthily
Drink plenty of water and make sure you eat a balanced healthy diet. it is not the time to go on a strict weight loss diet when you are breastfeeding. There are lots of foods that can help improve your milk supply. Make sure you have small healthy snacks during the day. Good afternoon tea can help your supply in the evening.
Surround yourself with good support
Lots of women give up due to misinformation and a lack of support. Make sure your family understand their are things they can do to help support you. Men often think there is nothing they can do to help with a newborn because they don’t have breasts but even small acts of support like getting you a glass of water or the feeding pillow can help you feel less alone. If you are really struggling with breastfeeding seek expert advice from a lactation consultant. The midwives at the hospital are not always the best people to help you.
There are things you can do to help reduce the pain & it does go away
The pain and discomfort is usually why many women give up breastfeeding. Warm baths can help soothe sore breasts when your milk first comes in. Hydrogel Nipple Shields can be a life saver and in some cases they help the baby latch on. Lanolin Cream can soothe dry sore nipples. The pain is usually only for the first couple of weeks and then you will be able to latch baby on without even thinking about pain.
Get your latch right
Get the midwife or a lactation consultant to suggest how to get your latch right. Although sometimes you may find something that is right for someone else is not right for you and your baby. One guide is to aim your nipple to babies nose so he/she opens wide and latches properly. Don’t be afraid to relatch baby if you are uncomfortable and learn how to take baby off your boob properly. .. they can do more damage coming off than going on wrong. Sometimes using your pinky finger to break the suction helps.
Relax, enjoy and don’t worry about what other people think. This is about you and your baby. Being calm and relaxed will help your milk let down and your baby feel safe and happy. Quiet words of praise and encouragement can help your little one too. Make sure you have comfortable preferably reclining arm chair. So you are comfortable during feeding and when your baby will only sleep in your arms.
Have everything in arms reach
You are going to stuck in one spot for up to 30 minutes so make sure you can reach everything you need. Firstly a water bottle because staying hydrated is essential. Then the other things like the TV remote so you can channel flick or a good book and a spill cloth. And of course your phones both mobile and landline because murphys law dictates that the one on the other side of the room will be the one to ring.
Concentrate on breastfeeding not visitors
In your early days you need to do what is best for you and your baby not visitors. Ask people to visit at times that suit you and your feeding schedule. If you feel uncomfortable feeding in front of visitors don’t be afraid to ask them to step out of the room.
Beware of mastitis
If you are feeling unwell or flu like symptoms go to see a medical profession. Lumps in your breasts although common in breastfeeding tissue should also be checked. Blocked ducts can lead to mastitis and cause considerable discomfort. A daily lecithin supplement can help with blocked ducts and lumpy breasts.
Don’t be afraid to spend money on breastfeeding covers and breastfeeding tops that allow you to feed discreetly
Anything that makes you feel more comfortable especially in public is a good thing. There are a range of specifically designed breastfeeding covers that work like a scarf or an apron. And of course specifically designed breastfeeding tops allow you to breastfeed discreetly. As well as protecting your modesty, having something nice to wear that makes you feel good is important to your sense of self when so many other things are changing in your life. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to something nice. most women wont think twice about buying something their baby may wear for only a matter of weeks but feel guilty spending money on themselves. As mothers we give so much to our family it is important to look after ourselves too. So if you decide to treat yourself Mrs Smith Maternity has a lovely range of breastfeeding tops and breastfeeding dresses that are actually fashionable and don’t scream this is a breastfeeding top!
These tips were written with the help of these amazing mums who are all living the parenting journey with you. Thanks so much to Tash, Jennifer, Lonnie, Desiree, Sommer, Gabrielle, Kelly, Sarah, Sarah, Haley, Tania, Natasha, Martina, Grace, Stephanie, Rebekah, Emily, Annabelle, Kylea & Clare.