First of all, I would just like to say that Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone…and that’s absolutely ok!!!! Whatever way your baby is fed – breast or bottle and it works for you and your baby then thats what is most important. As they say, FED is best!
I would like to share with those who need some advice or tips with breastfeeding, my experience and the tips and tricks I picked up along the way.
With my three children, I attempted to breastfeed them all. With my first, I fed for 4 weeks then introduced combi feeding for a couple more before he was bottle fed from around 6 weeks. With my second and third I breastfed them both for 6 months with combination of bottle feeds too when needed. I think that if you can and want to breastfeed, then attempting it is fab. Give it a go, see if it works – if it doesn’t then at least you can say you gave it a try. If it does work then continue and enjoy it. If it becomes something that is not enjoyable for you then chances are your baby is picking up on this and properly isn’t enjoying it too. I always have said and still say to myself – Happy Mama, happy baby! So always follow your gut and do whats best for the baby and for YOU!
Tip 1. Get comfortable! It’s so important – you may be sitting there for a while! Find a good spot where you can get good back support, either the sofa or a rocking chair and before allowing your baby to feed, make sure you are happy and comfy. In the first few weeks, latching on can be very painful and the last thing you need is to be in pain anywhere else such as your back or neck!
Tip 2. Use a feeding pillow! I found using one of these a life saver. Shaped in at the style of a boomerang, this pillow will sit firmly around your front, with cushion support for both yourself and your baby. You can either rest your arm across the pillow and allow baby to be supported above your arm and lie against you or if confident enough, allow baby to be supported by the pillow itself and give you hands free!
Tip 3. It’s all about the latch. That bloody latch! When I first started breastfeeding my first I think I over thought it. Nose to nipple nose to nipple NOSE TO NIPPLE was what I got told constantly. Which is kinda true…but I’d get myself all worked up and stressed around the latch and whether his nose was to my nipple! With my second and third I just put the baby on making sure their whole mouth covered my nip. I didn’t over think it. I just went with what felt right. Yes it does hurt for the first few weeks but in time it should become pain-free. If it doesn’t then your latch isn’t right and you must seek support.
Tip 4. Make sure you have your phone, book, glass of water and a snack to hand. It’s nice to be able to relax and feed rather than either be stuck without something to eat, or drink. Yes, like me if you have more than one child and you’re trying to breastfeed you can pretty much guarantee that as soon as you sit down to feed you baby, chances are your other children will want a drink/snack/toilet – and you have to just carry on, most likely feeding baby on the move whilst tackling the other children’s needs. But if all allows you to, make sure you have what you need to hand, saving you from having to awkwardly move position or disturb baby. Also – bonus – you can eat a further 500 calories a day!!!!! Woop Woop ( I mostly ate Pate on toast!!) A perfect time to have that extra stack is around 5pm which will give you that extra milk boost for the baby’s bedtime feed. Which leads me on to my next tip…
Tip 5. Drink water…lots of it!!! Ok so when that little bundle is feeding away he’s/she also making you super dehydrated and is sucking all the fluids out of you! So make sure you are drinking lots of this stuff!!! Get yourself a big water bottle and just carry it around with you. I must admit it can be easy to forget and often I’d much prefer a cuppa tea than a glass of water! But try. It helps with the constipation!! TMI
Tip 6. Ok nipple cream. Your gonna need it. (Like drinking water, nipple cream comes close second to what you need stacks off). This stuff is great in the first few weeks for sore nips. Lansinol is the bees knees and I would use this each time after baby’s feed (it’s safe for baby’s!) it’s a really cooling gel type cream and works wonders on cracked split and dry nipples.
Tip 7. Breast pads – Ok so totally unglamorous here but needs must. Stick them in your bra and be done with them. No one wants to leak milk in public (I did in Aldi carpark – thankfully was a cold day so had a huge coat on! Phew…) OR if breast pads are not for you, you could use ultra thin sanitary towels! Yes stick them in your bra!
Tip 8. Get yourself a good nursing bra. Get yourself a couple if you can. Its far easier whipping you boob out from a nursing bra than it is a standard bra. The clips allow you to drop down the front part of the bra which will free your nip ready to feed. Theres several places to get nursing Bras – H&M being one store.
You’ll know if your baby is satisfied if your baby is putting on weight, filling their nappy with that lovely yellow poop and seems content in themselves after a feed. If you are feeding on demand, then there is no set time for babies to go between feeds so you really just have to feed when baby is hungry! If any worries, then always contact your local health visitor.
I am sure there are loads more tips and tricks out there but I hope I’ve been a help and support to some! I’m no expert so always seek advice when needed! Thanks for reading xxx