Breastfeeding tips

Breastfeeding is a real skill to learn but with the right breastfeeding tips and help, if you wish, you can breastfeed for many weeks or months.

I hope you gain some helpful advice from my breastfeeding tips and that you and your baby enjoy learning together.

Give yourself time. My first breastfeeding tips suggestion. Many new mums expect breastfeeding to just happen! In reality it can take up to 6 weeks to get breastfeeding fully established and working well. So don’t  worry  if you find the first few weeks more tricky than you expected them to be.

Breastfeeding classes. Hospitals, the La Leche League, National Childbirth Trust, and  privately run breastfeeding classes are a very good way to learn the basics of breastfeeding while you are still pregnant. Many of these classes also offer follow up days to attend with your baby once they have safely arrived. They can give you the help, support and encouragement you need to get you through those first tricky weeks.

Don’t time your feeds. The time it takes a baby to feed varies greatly. Anything from 10 minute to an hour is normal! Babies often start slowly and with practice will get faster at feeding as both you and baby gain in experience.

Feeding on demand with a sleepy baby. Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis. The more times you put baby to the breast, the more signals you send to your brain to then stimulate the breasts into making milk. In the first few weeks the average baby will feed between 8 to 12 times in a 24 hour period. If your baby is very sleepy though a good breastfeeding tips idea is to wake them every 3 hours in the day. And leave them no longer than 4 hours at night. This will stimulate your breast enough while also letting your baby sleep.

Help in the early days. Whether you get a family member or invest in a maternity nurse to help in the early days, an extra pair of hands is an invaluable breastfeeding tips suggestion. Even being able to get yourself settled before a feed, and then being passed baby, I’ve been told makes a huge difference.

Make yourself comfortable. Feeding can take up to an hour for some babies, so being comfortable is a breastfeeding tips must. There are many breastfeeding pillows and chairs on the market that really do help to support your back, neck and arms while feeding. These are very individual choices so go with what feels right for you.

Baby is learning. Your little munchkin is also on a huge learning curve as well as you so take your time while you both learn how to latch on. Learning to latch on is the trickiest part of breastfeeding and a real team skill for you both to master.

Latching on. When baby is latching on, make sure they have a wide open mouth and they take as much of the nipple, areola and breast as possible.

As you bring baby to the breast, their mouth should be wide open, with their tongue down and your nipple should point towards the top and back of their mouth.

I was once told while on a breastfeeding course that your mums will be breastfeeding not nipple feeding! This has proved to be very good advice.

Shaping your breast. If your baby has a small mouth or you have quite small or quite large breast it’s a helpful breastfeeding tips idea for baby, if you shape your breast. If you hold your breast at the outside and gently squish it together this can help some babies latch on easier.

Relax. Be relaxed at each feed and enjoy the time you and baby have together. Don’t expect each feed to go perfectly and go with the flow. Once baby is latched on and feeding well, relaxing your shoulders and rolling them from front to back a few times is a breastfeeding tips idea that really helps. I’ve also seen the milk flow improve with mums who have taken some deep breaths while pumping. Breast milk always flows better when you are calm.

Snacks and drinks. A good breastfeeding tips idea is to have snacks and drinks to hand when feeding. Filling a water bottle is the easiest way of being able to drink without any spillage. Easy to eat fresh and dried fruits and energy bars are great snacks to eat.

Nipples and creams. I’ve seen some very sore nipples over my years of maternity nursing. There are many creams on the market that can help. Lanolin based ointment is a very good cream to use but each nursing mum will find her own cream that works best.

Expressing a little milk after each feed and gently rubbing into your nipple is a very good breastfeeding tip. Let yourself air dry before replacing your bra.

Worried about milk flow and amount.  Every one of my feeding mums has worried about their milk flow and the amount they are making. To put their mind at rest I get them, every now and again,  to pump the side they are not feeding on first. This breastfeeding tips suggestion gives them a rough guide to the amount of milk baby is getting, and it’s usually more milk than they thought it would be. They can also see the flow of their milk and see how quick their ‘let down reflex’ works.

Is baby getting enough breast milk? If your baby is feeding well at the breast, looks satisfied after most feeds, is gaining about 4 to 8 oz in weight each week (after the first 2 weeks) has 6 wet nappies a day and sleeps well in between feeds then these are all good breastfeeding tips signs that your baby is getting enough breast milk.

Eat a well balanced healthy diet.  Eating a balanced diet and allowing yourself some treats along the way will help you to make the right amount of milk. Many mums find that if they have to feed their baby and they are hungry themselves they feel that their milk production is lower than normal.

Try and rest or sleep when baby sleeps. If you are able to rest when baby sleeps then do so. One of my breastfeeding mums use to call her going to bed and resting or sleeping time, milk making time!

This is important to remember especially if you had to have a cesarean or had a long labour. Your body will be working hard to recover from this as well as producing  lots of great milk for your baby.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my breastfeeding tips page and that some have helped you and your baby.

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