Breastfeeding tips for new mumsFebruary 7, 2017
Understanding the basics when it comes to breastfeeding can take a lot of the stress out of the whole process, ensuring your baby gets what it needs and removing the worry when things aren’t going quite right.
So, we have put together these 8 breastfeeding tips to help you get the most from this important time with your baby.
1. Get comfortable
Before you start breastfeeding, ensure that you are sitting somewhere comfortable where you have good support for your arms, as even a tiny baby can seem heavy after a couple of minutes without something to rest on.
2. Find the perfect position
Find a breastfeeding position that suits you and your baby. There are several positions that you can try, from feeding your baby whilst lying on your side to cradling your baby with its head resting on your elbow.
The cradling position is one that many mothers will try initially. Simply rest your baby’s head in the crook of your arm with its nose facing your nipple, while using the hand of your cradling arm to support your baby’s bottom. Turn your baby on its side, so that its belly is against yours and tuck their nearest arm against your waist or under your cradling arm. Cup your breast with your other hand and allow your little one to suckle.
3. Keep up the good work
Once you start breastfeeding make sure you feed your baby regularly and for long enough each time to ensure you maintain a good supply of milk. As your milk production depends on demand, the more milk your baby drinks, the more milk your breasts will produce. Equally, if your baby doesn’t feed much, your system will think it doesn’t need to produce much ‘food’.
4. Don’t miss the best milk
Another important reason for ensuring your baby gets a good feed each time is that you need to make sure that it gets enough hind milk. The first milk that comes out is the foremilk, which is dilute and low in fat.
The hind milk comes after this and being packed with protein, fat and calories, it will keep your baby feeling full for longer. You can make sure your baby is getting this hind milk by getting them to drain one breast before moving onto the other.
5. Get truly connected
Of course, it is impossible for your baby to feed properly unless they latch onto your breast correctly. For this to happen, your baby’s mouth needs to cover both the nipple and areola, with the tip of their nose and chin touching your breast.
If your baby seems reluctant to suckle or unsure of what to do, you can try rubbing their lips against your nipple, squeezing some colostrum onto their lips or stroking the cheek nearest your breast. For more breastfeeding tips about latching see this video.
6. Take your time
Be prepared to take plenty of time feeding your baby. Let your baby be your guide as to how long it needs. In some cases, this could be up to 45 minutes, so if you do find that the sessions are long try to make sure you have food and drink to hand should you need to boost your own energy levels.
Equally, having a book to hand or listening quietly to the radio can help while away the time, although make sure to be attentive to your baby once in a while, so you don’t miss out on those all-important bonding moments.
7. Follow your baby’s lead
Make sure you feed your baby as often as they want. This will vary from baby to baby, but initially you may well find you are breastfeeding every two to three hours.
In some cases, babies feed less frequently at night, giving you a bit more rest overnight. That said, some babies will want to feed hourly during the day and like frequent night-time feeds too. The good news is that, as the months progress, your little nipper will get peckish less often.
That said, whilst a few quiet hours might seem like paradise to exhausted parents, make sure you wake your little one for a feed every three hours, not just to nourish your baby but also to fuel your milk production.
8. Be gentle with yourself
Remember to take it easy on yourself. If this is your first-time breastfeeding, it can take a while to get it right. Over the first few days, your baby’s tiny stomach cannot cope with a lot of milk, so if they only seem to be feeding a little, don’t panic. Just keep practicing and you will soon get there.
If you are worried, then you can always ask a doctor or midwife to check your technique. However, being worried can cause stress that stops the release of milk, so try to stay as relaxed as possible.
Need more breastfeeding tips?
If you have any questions about breastfeeding that aren’t covered by the above tips then feel free to let us know and we can write a blog on the topic to help you and other mums.
You can also get advice on other areas of parenting by visiting our blog or source caring products for your baby by clicking here to visit our online store.
You might also be interested in checking out this infographic on the benefits of breastfeeding.