Tips for a successful breastfeeding journey

  1. Try skin on skin as soon as possible following your baby’s birth. This skin on skin time triggers feeding reflexes in your baby, and your milk production. The sooner baby latches the sooner your milk will come in. Did you know that babies are often more awake and alert looking to feed in their first hour of life than for the rest of that day? Ask your Dr about skin on skin in theatre if you have a straight forward c-section.

  2. Babies want to feed little and often in the early days. They have teeny stomachs and the colostrum they are drinking is very concentrated in vitamins, proteins and antibodies. Try not get frustrated at how frequently your baby is feeding and rest in between feeds.

  3. Learn how to hand express from a midwife or lactation consultant, this will help you relieve engorgement just enough for baby to latch, and help you attract baby to the nipple if you express a few drops before a feed.

  4. If your nipples are sore or tender, ask for help. An experienced breast feeder, a midwife or lactation consultant can help you with latching to eliminate pain.

  5. Try not to over analyze your baby’s feeds, some feeds are short, some are long. Sometimes your baby will be windy after a feed, sometimes they won’t. Sometimes they won’t both sides, sometimes just 1. If your baby is content after a feed, gaining weight well, and has plenty of wet and dirty nappies, you are successfully breast feeding.

  6. Invest in some good feeding bra’s and feeding suitable clothing. This way you won’t feel trapped at home, and can be confident you can feed anywhere anytime! This is your legal right!

  7. If you are going back to work, wait 3 weeks to start expressing and saving milk. Then try to express after a full feed and keep the time you express each day to build a stash consistent. This way your body will simply think this is an extra feed and start to produce this extra milk for you to save up.

  8. Get ready before you sit down to feed, iphone, water, snack… but also don’t be afraid to take baby off the breast and move mid-feed if you need something! You aren’t a prisoner to the couch simply because you are feeding.

  9. Watch your position, it might seem easy to slouch forward and not use a pillow, but your shoulders and back will not be thanking you in a few weeks!

  10. Whether you are breast or bottle feeding, skin on skin isn’t just for the days following your birth. Try this at any time and enjoy the snuggles and feel good hormones as a result!

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What if it’s not going well?

 

  1. Ask for help! See a lactation consultant and get some practical advice. Ask for help around the house so you feel less pressure to keep on top of things. Just focus on you, baby and feeding.

  2. Are you pushing yourself too much? Are you feeding and pumping around the clock with no time to rest or eat to try to maintain supply? Is it all getting on top of you? Can you chat with a trusted friend or midwife about reducing how much you feed and pump and supplement with formula, getting a balance that works for you and your family?

  3. Is your baby suffering from reflux and making feeding a screaming session? Ask your babies Dr is medication is suitable. Try to keep baby upright after a feed. Use a dummy to soothe when burping, and after a feed.

  4. Is your baby refusing to feed and arching their back? Do they have a feeding aversion? Are they too tired to feed? Try a nap then offer the feed again. Are they being fed too frequently, and they aren’t hungry? Do they have any signs of an allergy or intolerance making feeding upsetting for them? Chat with your Dr.

  5. Baby not tolerating formula? Call the formula companies directly and ask for samples to try, they will run through your baby’s reactions to the current formulas and help determine what you need. Saving you throwing our full tins of formula!

  6. You’re exhausted and tempted to quit just to get some sleep….call a sleep consultant, or express off a feed and go to bed early! Let your partner or friend or mum do a feed or two overnight while you catch up on sleep. Getting 4-6 hours in a row will give you a new perspective in the morning!

  7. You’re over it. You’re over the pain, the low supply, the screaming, the drama, you’re ready to formula feed but you feel guilty or ashamed… Ditch that guilt! You love your baby, and you are making the best decision for you and your baby! Know a friend who formula fed? Speak with her and get the emotional boost you need. Fed is Best.

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