Breastfeeding Tips from a Real Mum
You’ve attended the breastfeeding class, you’ve read the guide, you’ve spoken to the GP… As someone who’s been there, here’s 10 quick tips - straight from a mother to another! - that you might not have come across quite yet…
1) You’re tired. Like, REALLY tired. (I know - so was I.) So while you breastfeed, make sure to be as comfortable as you can possibly be, as it might take a while. My advice? Rather than sitting up, lie on your side with baby facing you.
2) Leaking is normal. Don’t worry. This might happen when you think about your baby, when your baby is hungry, or even if you hear another baby cry. Simply keep disposable breast pads on you at all times, and know that this reflex will naturally lessen in time.
7) Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated can easily fall by the wayside as you look after your baby. Try associating drinking a large glass of water with sitting down to breastfeed. If you make this a habit often enough, you’ll find you’ll stick to it and it will become second nature.
8) For the first month at least, avoid giving baby teats and dummies: this will help establish a strong bond with your body. Because your new baby is still learning to breastfeed, they can become confused if they are offered a teat or dummy.
3) Breast care is important, and it doesn’t have to take much time at all. Just remember to wipe away any milk after a feed with a soft cloth, and apply a comforting, safe-for-breastfeeding Lanolin balm to the nipples. Wash the area with a gentle soap and water daily and let your breasts air out naturally away from clothing whenever possible.
9) Don’t forget to burp baby! You really don’t want any of that precious milk ending up anywhere else than baby’s tummy. Burping will also help ease any painful gas bubbles, since babies’ digestive systems are still very delicate.
4) If your breasts feel hard and engorged and feeding baby more often doesn’t seem to help, try gently massaging them under a warm shower. Multi-Mam Compresses or a hot and cold pack like Lansinoh TheraPearl will also help.
10) Try to relax. Avoid looking at your phone or thinking stressful thoughts while you breastfeed, as your baby will pick up on any tense energy you feel. Try listening to a fun, upbeat podcast instead, or do some gentle mindfulness meditation.
10) If you experience any difficulty or any pain while breastfeeding, do not hesitate to contact your doctor or local health nurse who will be in a position to assist you. Never put pressure on yourself to do it all on your own!
While you’re here, check out the InHealth curated selection of top products to help you along your breastfeeding journey. From Haakaa to Ardo, you’ll find all the top mother & baby brands in one handy place that is also 100% Irish!