I’ve had a growth spurting newbie attached to me for the latter part of this week, and came across this post the other day about breastfeeding advocacy, which was timely. It’s written really well, without too much emotion, and it made so much sense to me. It got me thinking about my own experiences over the past five years, so I thought I’d share some insights.
Breastfeeding advice for new mums
If you are struggling ask for help. The day my milk came in for my eldest I was in agony, both physically and emotionally. My boobs were full to bursting and she was unable to attach. After her screaming at the breast for what seemed at the time like hours, and by sheer coincidence, the midwife popped in. She calmed me down, and talked me through the process of getting my baby latched on and staying on. She also gave us information on the local breastfeeding counselling services in the area. Hubby and I went to a drop in session the next day, and was given some invaluable advice. Without these two pieces of help, I have no idea if I would have managed to successfully bf first time round. I had similar issues with my second and third babies on the day my milk came in, but was able to put what I’d learnt first time to good use, and not get so upset and stressed out.
The first two weeks are the hardest, but things get much easier afterwards. Hopefully your partner, family members and/or friends will be around to support you through this time.
It only hurts when baby isn’t latched on correctly – if it’s painful take them off and start again. If you’re in constant pain then something isn’t right, and you could be at risk of contracting mastitis.
Every baby feeds differently, and chances are the last time you breastfed it was a toddler and not a tiny baby. I hadn’t thought of this, until the midwife pointed it out to me after my son was born. Made me think differently about my approach to feeding him.
Get comfortable. Poor posture while feeding can lead to all sorts of back, neck and shoulder problems later.
A full feed should take 20-30 mins, if baby is on one side for less time they are not getting to the good stuff. If they’re only having 5-10 mins from each breast, they’re only getting foremilk which will mean they’ll be hungry again in no time at all.
Planning is key if you have other children to consider – be organised and don’t get caught short. In order for hell not to break loose in my house on a daily basis I’ll need to feed baby directly before the school pick up. I’m hoping he naps afterwards, allowing me to get the girls’ tea sorted, then I can feed him again while they’re eating. All the while I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a happy baby while I get them down for the night. Hubby will usually only make it back from work in time to help with the witching hour on a Friday, all other days I’m on my own so need to get this down to a fine art if I want to remain sane.
Eat well and eat lots – don’t even entertain thoughts of dieting. Exercise yes, cutting down on food NO!
Drink plenty of water. I have such a thirst when I’m breastfeeding, and nothing other than water even comes close to quenching it. Properly hydrating yourself is also essential to milk production.