As part of the ‘Keep Britain Breastfeeding’ campaign i’m sharing my top ten tips for a successful breastfeeding journey. I know i’m lucky in that my breastfeeding journey has been a relatively smooth one, but I know that it is not so for many people, so hopefully these tips will help anyone wanting to breastfeed, or in the early stages…
- Do some research before your baby arrives! We only attended the Ante-natal classes through the hospital but one of the sessions covered breastfeeding and I wish I had bothered to do a bit more research online before she arrived as I spent a lot of time googling things on my phone during night feeds. I found the KellyMom website brilliantly helpful! I was lucky that Sam had paid attention in the ante-natal classes and reminded me of the ‘rugby ball’ hold in hospital which was prefect for me after a C-section.
- It will be painful at first (sorry!) so arm yourself with nipple cream, breast pads and chocolate! Be warned the nipple cream needs warming up a bit before you apply it, stick the tube under your armpit for a little while! In the early days take a deep breath as your baby latches on, count to ten and hopefully the pain will have subsided. If it lasts for the whole feed once breastfeeding as been established then do seek help though!
- Make sure your baby gets the ‘fatty’ hind milk during each feed, this is the ‘good stuff’ and has all the vital nutrients. If your baby falls asleep you can gently un latch them and re latch them, or tickle their feet, or gently tug their ears to awaken them!
- Check your baby’s latch, to make sure they get a full mouthful and that the nipple is in the right part of their mouth you need to ‘plant’ them quite firmly onto your boob! There is a little animation here that will help. This will reduce pain and make things a lot easier!
- You’ll need to make sure you drink plenty of fluids, and although you might desperately need a caffeine kick try to limit it in case it affects your baby! I read that if you abstained from caffeine when pregnant it will probably affect your baby more… I drank 1 or 2 cups of tea a day when I was pregnant and stick to that more or less now.
- Speaking of affecting your baby… some foods can cause wind (and therefore pain) for your baby. I found that onions caused havoc until the 4th month or so and ended up avoiding them completely. I worked it out through a process of elimination, she had a couple of really bad bouts of wind and I worked out that the only thing I’d had both those times was onion!
- Feeding on demand is the best way to establish a supply in the first few weeks. Be prepared to spend a lot of time sitting (or lying down) so make sure you have a large bottle of water and some cereal bars close to hand! A good book/the TV remote might be helpful too!
- Experiment with feeding positions. Night feeds would have been a killer if we hadn’t mastered feeding lying down! Cushions help too for optimum comfortable positioning!
- If you need help or support, ask for it! Ask friends who are breastfeeding, visit your local breastfeeding support group (your health visitor can give you details) and I’ve found that twitter is a wonderful source of help and support too!
- Most importantly, enjoy it! It’s an incredibly bonding experience.
Amazingly today I am happy to share with you the chance to win an amazing Theraline plushy nursing pillow, which would help anyones breastfeeding journey to go a lot more smoothly! Enter using the rafflecopter widget below, ending on the 29th June.