Breastfeeding can sometimes feel like a struggle but know that you are not alone. For many new mums, it takes time and practice to master latching on or to find a position that feels comfortable for you both. These tips from babocush will help with challenges like cracked nipples, expressing or getting into position.
The best tips for breastfeeding
Breastfeeding at the start is challenging
In the beginning, you will feel like breastfeeding is a 24-hour job. Make sure that you are getting your rest when you can. Get your family members or friends to help with other tasks so you can focus on that time with your baby. When at home, try and manage your expectations as you cannot do everything at once.
Get comfortable for feeding
If you are constantly moving to get into a comfortable position this can affect your baby's feed. Find a comfortable chair or bed to feed on with plenty of back support for you. If you are struggling to find a comfortable spot you could invest in a specific breastfeeding or nursing chair, its soothing rocking motion can help calm the baby and help put them to sleep.
Find your baby’s best position
Now that you have got yourself comfortable, pay attention to the position that works best for them. Make sure that you are supporting your baby’s head, neck, and back adequately, but that their movements are not restricted. Your baby should have the ability to always move their head to avoid the risk of suffocation or choking.
Use Breast Pads
Your milk can leak for many reasons including when you hear another baby cry, if you go for a few hours without feeding or even if your emotions are high, so ensure you use breast pads to soak the milk up.
Feed your baby as often as you can and if you are experiencing swelling then hand express milk. Swollen breasts can make it more difficult for your baby to feed and not only that, but engorged breasts are sore. With changing hormone levels, your breasts swell and enlarge as milk production increases.
Your body is also directing extra blood and fluids to your breasts to help you boost milk production so try and alleviate the swelling by pumping. There are numerous electric breast pumps that you can purchase to help with expressing. This will also be beneficial when the time comes to go back to work, or if you want your partner to help with the night feeds as the milk will already be prepared for feeding.
Dealing with sore nipples
Sore or cracked nipples are usually due to poor attachment. When your baby is not correctly attached to the breast it means your nipple is closer to the front of their mouth. In that position, your nipple can get pinched against the hard palate of your baby’s mouth, which will make your nipples sore.
These are ways you can help ease the pain of sore nipples
- If you are using breast pads make sure to change them at each feed and use pads without a plastic backing, if possible.
- Wear a nursing bra made of cotton which will allow air to circulate.
- If your nipples are cracked, dab some expressed breast milk onto them after feeding.
There are other over-the-counter medications available from your local pharmacy such as Medical Grade Lanolin Ointment. Seek help early if your nipples are cracked or bleeding, as this can increase your risk of getting an infection.
Look after your diet
You must stay hydrated so try and drink one glass of water every time you breastfeed to help with your milk supply. Breastfeeding also burns calories quickly, making you feel hungry. Replace those calories by eating regularly and properly, a nutritious diet will help you feel less fatigued.
Seek help if you need it
Breastfeeding does not come naturally to all mothers at first. If you are struggling, get some support from your local breastfeeding group or your health visitor. They will be more than happy to help with advice and guidance while you navigate your way.