Getting started with breastfeeding – my top tips!
Tags: breastfeeding, breastfeeding buddies, Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt 2012.
Tina over at MotherGeek recently posted asking for breastfeeding tips as she is having her second child shortly and wants to try breastfeeding again after having trouble with her son. Instead of writing a lengthly comment on her blog I thought I would wait & do a post as part of the scavenger hunt on the topic instead!
I already posted about the importance of breastfeeding your child last week on my blog, even if it is just for the first few weeks. Managing to breastfeed for even a week is something to take real pride in – I don’t want to sugarcoat the topic to try to get more people breastfeeding by suggesting that it is really easy to breastfeed, because for many Mums it isn’t! Here are a few (ok, a lot!) of my favourite breastfeeding tips to help you on your way:
- Although breastfeeding can be a little uncomfortable for the first few days, it shouldn’t be really painful – if it hurts the best thing you can do is de-latch your baby and reposition them – don’t be afraid to try a few times to get it right. A bad latch will cause problems like sore nipples and your baby won’t be feeding efficiently. It really is worth the trouble to get it right - and once you’ve got the hang of it, it will become second nature to both of you!
- If you need to use nipple shields for one reason or other, remember that they should only be a temporary measure as they can mess with your supply.
- A newborn baby seems to want to feed ALL the time… chill out, this is perfectly normal. It’s just their way of putting their order in and letting your body know that it should be producing more milk. Things will get better once your supply meets the demand.
- Skin to skin contact is always great, especially in the first few days – it will help your supply get going, calm your baby and improve your mood.
- Don’t be tempted to clock watch or time feeds. Try to rest when your baby sleeps and go with the flow as much as possible. Housework is really not that important – your body needs to be ok to produce the milk your baby needs so go lie down instead!
- Try not to panic about your baby’s weight. Some fluctuation is normal and your health visitor will let you know if there is something to worry about!
- Before a feed, make sure you get comfortable. You need a position you can hold for a few hours if necessary, snacks & drinks, your phone, the remote, a book… and most importantly remember to go for a wee before you get settled!
- Do as many night feeds lying down in bed as you can! We couldn’t co-sleep right away due to my husband’s epilepsy but sharing a bed with your baby makes it super easy to do night feeds when you’re breastfeeding, and you & the baby will most likely drop off together at the end of a feed. If you don’t want to share the bed all night just transfer your little one into their crib as they start to drop off.
- When the mothers whose babies are formula fed start talking about how much milk their babies drink, and how often, don’t panic because you don’t have the same information… You might not be able to see what goes in but you can see if your baby is healthy and you definitely get to see what comes out! After the first few days you can expect about 6 wet nappies and 2 poops a day – if you’re worried your baby isn’t “performing as expected”, have a chat with your health visitor.
- Try not to supplement with formula feeds as it can have a negative effect on your supply. If your baby seems especially hungry let them continue to suckle as much as they want as it will let your body know they want more and your supply with increase to meet their demand after a day or so – growth spurts are common and this probably will happen!
Most importantly, try to relax and enjoy the experience. Take your cues from your baby, make sure your latching is good and hopefully you will love your breastfeeding journey as much as I have loved mine.
Although I have now stopped feeding Georgie (we are now on day 4 with no Mummy milk!), something I posted about earlier this week, we did manage to get to 6 months exclusively and to 13 months total so I am really proud of myself and pleased that we managed to take this journey to its natural end!
Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt 2012
This post is part of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt 2012. You will be able to view more great articles about breastfeeding at the following participating blogs:
I am working with Babybeads-UK for the duration of the scavenger hunt, and will be hosting a special giveaway of one of their products on the last week of the hunt! Established in 2006, Babybeads-UK manufacture and sell breastfeeding necklaces and reminder bracelets. All of their products are hand-crafted in the UK by specially trained staff and can be useful for fun and educational purposes well after the breastfeeding stages are over. Even better, they are always happy to make a bespoke necklace for no extra charge and you can even have them personalised with your baby’s name! They have also donated a breastfeeding necklace and reminder bracelet to the grand prize.
Thank you for reading! Please complete the following Rafflecopter form to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize. Want to take part and try to win loads of prizes? Read the instructions here.