As a mum of seven children, who have all been breastfed until 18-36 months, I have spent quite a long time doing this feeding lark we all know the benefits of breastfeeding but here are my top ten breastfeeding tips.
1. Take each feed a step at a time.
The recommended time to exclusively breastfeed is six months, but when you first start that can seem like an awful long time, so if you find yourself struggling, just take one feed at a time, every one will be different so just take it slowly.
2. Ignore The Ignorant.
You will at some point, come across people that have negative views or feelings about breastfeeding, my top tip is to IGNORE THEM, you are giving your baby THE best start in life and no-one can take that away from you.
3. Involve Your Partner/Mum/Friend
Your husband/partner/Mum/Friend cannot physically breastfeed your baby but he/she can be involved, give them the very important job of ensuring that YOU are looked after during this time, supplying you with food and drink as required.
4. Tell Yourself How Great You Are.
Even if you don’t look or feel great, what you are doing for your baby is AMAZING, providing them with everything they need, YOU ROCK!
5. Talk To Others In The Same Situation.
There are lots of support groups and Baby Cafes available for you to go along to and meet other breastfeeding mummies, our local one is fabulous and we sit and drink tea and there is always cake!! If there isn’t a group near you, there is plenty of support online (something us old people never had when we had our children 20 years ago!)
6. Gadgets are not essential
When you begin breastfeeding at the beginning, you will notice there are many different lotions and potions, pumps and pads available, these may be useful later on in the breastfeeding journey, but at the beginning all you really need is baby and boobs. The actual breastmilk is fabulous for putting on your nipples after a feed, you can express enough milk needed for baby just by hand expression – remember their tummies are only the size of a marble when they are born, if you feel that your milk supply is dwindling, just keep putting baby to the breast, its a supply and demand so the ore baby feeds, the ore milk your body will produce, there are also certain foods that can increase milk supply.
7. Follow Your Instincts.
You and your baby have a very close bond and you should always follow your own instincts and not be influenced by outside advice, I don’t know how many times I have been told, to stop picking the baby up, or you will make a rod for your own back!! The truth is, that little bundle has been snuggled up inside your tummy for the last nine months, listening to your heartbeat, when he or she enters the world it is a big change, so they feel safest when near to you, which is why breastfeeding is the perfect way to feed your baby, all snuggled up together.
8. Try Different Positions.
All babies are different, what works for one, may not work for another, breastfeeding to start with is a learning journey for you both, working together to find out which is the most comfortable and successful position for feeding, some will be cradled in your arm, others will prefer the rugby ball hold, as my midwife told me, whatever works, if it means hanging from the ceiling and it works for you, then fine!
9. Follow Baby’s lead.
This tiny little bundle is fantastic he or she will know when their tummy is empty and when they need a refill, they don’t have in built clocks or feeding schedules, but they just know, so watch for their cues, if they start to sniff and lick their lips, they begin rooting or sucking their fist, their little eyes begin to flicker, this is their very clever way of telling you, its time for more food.
10.Every Baby Is Different.
Each of my breastfeeding journeys have been unique, no two babies have fed the same or had the same routine, some would feed for a long time with hours in between, others would snack little and often, just as we are each individuals with our own personalities and requirements, so too are these little bundles of joy.
I hope you have found these tips helpful and you can relate to them, and Good luck with your Breastfeeding Journey xxx