Breastfeeding tips/breastfeeding advice/breastfeeding help

by Tracy
(South Africa)

If you are a new mom, you probably don't know much about breastfeeding. You have made a great decision to breastfeed, one that will effect your life as well as your baby's in a bigger way than you can imagine.

Many moms fail at breastfeeding because of a simple lack of information. Here are a few things you need to know about breastfeeding...

1. Breastfeeding is an acquired skill and does not always come easily. Many mothers have breastfeeding problems, so don't feel alone...when you feel like giving up, remember there is help out there.

2. If your nipples are broken or bleeding, you need to check your baby's latch. Your nipple should not be bleeding, nipple sensitivity is normal (which is quite painful) but this usually only lasts for the first week or so, after this your nipples should get accustomed to the sucking.

3. Many times you hear somebody advising to let baby drink for 10 - 15 minutes on one breast and then the other. I don't believe in this because this is what leads to foremilk /hindmilk imbalance and that's how your baby gets colicky and has runny, foamy green stools! You should breastfeed baby from one breast, until that breast seems empty (it never really gets completely empty) before offering the other breast. You could even offer the other breast at the next feeding. This will ensure that baby receives the fatty hindmilk at the back of the breast.

4. The first few days (2-5) days after birth, your breasts will not be producing "mature milk", but a thicker, transparent liquid called very small amounts. Your baby only needs small amounts of this, so don't think that you have too little milk. The stimulation of baby's sucking will bring on increased milk production soon. Breast compressions can also help get more of the colostrum from your breasts and it stimulates lactation.

5. Some moms think they are producing too little milk and decide to pump their milk instead of physically breastfeeding baby. They do this, so that they can see exactly how much milk they are producing, this is the worse mistake they can make, as this will definitely decrease their supply. They will think they are not producing enough because a breast pup can never remove the same amount of milk a baby can. The lower the amount of milk removed from the breast will result in less milk produced.

6. Breast milk works with the principle Supply and Demand. The more you breastfeed, or the more milk that is removed from the breast, the more milk your body is going to produce.

7. Engorgement is normal in the beginning. You are most probably going to wake up with sore swollen breasts until your body gets accustomed to the amount of breast milk your baby needs. Many times when engorgement goes down, a mom might think that her breast milk supply has dropped, but this is normal...your breasts are now producing just the right amount of milk for your baby's needs.

8. If your baby is not picking up enough weight while exclusively breastfeeding, you can get things that will help with supply, like galactogues and latrogenic foods.

9. Comfort while breastfeeding is important. If you are not comfortable, chances are your baby will not latch on right and you will end up with sore nipples and a sore back. Your breastfeeding sessions are meant to be "relax time" and bonding time. Something that helped me, was my boppy pillow, without it I would have suffered, it went everywhere with me.

10. You need to hold baby while breastfeeding in such a way that his/her spine is in one line. When I breastfed in hospital for the first time with my first baby, the nurses gave me a pillow, plonked him on it with his back flat on the pillow and his head turned to me. Your baby will have a hard time sucking and swallowing like that. Your baby's body and head should be in one line and baby's body should be against yours (preferably skin to skin)

I hope these thoughts and advice help somebody. I wish I had known these things before I tried breastfeeding the first time.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Invitation 2.