Top tips for sucessfull breastfeeding
Women often spend so much time reading books preparing for birth but little time getting ready for breastfeeding. If you think about it we spend a few hours in labor but maybe months breastfeeding. Read this post to help get the best start and join us for the Breastfeeding workshop linked at the top of this post.
To help you along the way we have prepared helpful hints.
Here’s the tips
Whilst some women find breastfeeding straightforward, the vast majority of us may have some form of struggle. Even on my second baby, and as a doula supporting breastfeeding women, I had issues. So here goes:
- If you are having problems ask for help from your hospital’s lactation consultant. These are very very busy women, so rather than depending on staff midwife to chase her up. Get her phone number at your next prenatal visit, save it to your phone and ring her from your bed. If you are at home or the hospital staff are too busy, call up your local independent lactation consultant.
- Start coming to our mother’s group.
- Don’t forget that for the first 2 weeks or so, that breastfeeding can be a bit uncomfortable on the nipples and take your breath away! Some people recommend preparing them for that babies vice-like gummy grip by roughing them up with a towel whilst pregnant. I am not sure that really does help. What you need to remember is that one day in that first two weeks, that sensation will just fade away and become a nice tweaking sensation. So try not to be put off by that discomfort at the beginning, it does wear off I promise.
- Your milk only comes in on around the third day after your baby is born. Before then you get only a few drops of golden amber nectar in the form of colostrum. Do not be pressurized into a full-on feeding schedule before that time. Your baby has enough fatty supplies to keep them going.
- Learn to hand express milk before each feed. This can be really handy to get milk moving down with a nice few drops waiting for your baby to smell-I have included a handy youtube clip here, but before you start:
- Sit comfortably
- Take a few relaxing breaths and let your shoulders down on the exhale
- wet a flannel with warm water and place over the boob
- like you would for self-examination, start to massage in small circles from the outside to the center.
- stroke from the outside to the center
- This all gets the milk moving and allows you to relax a bit.
- Now, watch this great clip
- Learn how to get a good latch. This is a great clip to show you how it looks
- Practice different positions and a must to see how to take the baby off and save your nipples from getting sore.
- Use your yoga breathing for breastfeeding. Make sure you are calm and your baby is not distressed before trying to latch on for the first few times. If either of you are, stop, pick your baby up over your shoulder to soothe them and try again when you are more settled.
- Take down the numbers of the lactation consultants I will recommend during the breastfeeding workshop. Their services are covered by most health insurance providers. Otherwise, it will be the best money spent. The come to your house or hospital and give you a heap of support and loving the attention to help you along. I used one myself with Sean and I cannot recommend them enough.
- Try calling your local La Leche breastfeeding support contact. The leaders are available to answer any questions at the end of the phone.
- Sleep with your baby at night time. It is the best way for you to get a good sleep and feeding is a question of just popping out your boob. You don’t even have to get up. If you are like me, you might even just fall straight to sleep!
- Come along to our free breastfeeding class whilst you are pregnant. If anything does go askew, it is normally in the first few weeks at which stage you probably wont have the energy to come to a class.
And finally, if it doesn’t work out for you. Remember there are zillions of healthy children on the planet who have not been breastfed.
Here’s feedback from Caroline Moran
“….If it wasn’t for the breastfeeding workshop in The elbowroom my daughter would not be breastfed. You always expect that life will run smoothly and according to plan, but sometimes it doesn’t pan out like that. It’s for this reason that the workshop proved invaluable to me.
When Maeve was born she had a small protrusion into her umbilical cord which was minor but needed surgery. Unfortunately for the establishment of breastfeeding, I was not allowed to feed her for the first day while the doctors decided on the best course of action. Instead, she was put on a drip, which meant she didn’t feel hungry or associate me with food.
On day two she was still on the drip, I was allowed to feed her but only or a few hours as she had to fast for surgery. Unfortunately, her surgery was canceled twice and so she had to fast for two more nights, all the time still on the drip.
I felt like everything was conspiring against us establishing breastfeeding successfully.
Thankfully I had done the breastfeeding workshop in The elbowroom while I was pregnant, I honestly could not recommend it enough. The workshop gave me the knowledge and quiet confidence I needed to approach breastfeeding positively and meant I knew how to recognize the small indicators and signals the proved so important to get feeding established in a such a challenging time.
Maeve is now three weeks old, out of hospital and feeling like a pro. We’re delighted with how she’s getting along.
I am so grateful to Lisa for providing the breastfeeding workshop because I have no doubt that had I not done the workshop I would have given up and I’m so glad I didn’t.
I will be whole heartily recommending this workshop to my pregnant friends and anyone else who’ll listen.”
Our next breastfeeding workshop will cover:
- practicing getting a good latch
- taking your baby off the breast
- Different feeding positions
- When to get support
- What problems to look out for and what to do about them
- How sleeping with your baby helps and how to do it safely
Please feel free to bring along friends, but do register first. Feeding mums more than welcome to share stories. We can also look at the selection of breastfeeding clothes we have at The elbowroom.