As it is the final day of World Breastfeeding Week 2019 I thought I would share with you my top tips for breastfeeding a newborn. I am by no means an expert in the field and my advice is a mixture of anecdotal (from breastfeeding my own children for the last 3 plus years) and what I learnt when I trained to be a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter.
1. Educate yourself on how to get a good latch! This will make a world of difference with how nursing feels. General advice is to stimulate babies upper lip.
2. Find a position that works and is comfortable for you! There are so many more than just cradle hold!
3. Invest in a feeding pillow! They are great in the early days! I personally had one that was also used as a pregnancy pillow. Failing that a normal pillow or cushion does the job.
4. Don’t worry about Dad not bonding with the baby through feeding! There are lots of other things Dad’s can do in the early days/weeks such as; taking baby for a walk in the pram or a sling; bathing baby; reading baby a story; or having a cuddle whilst you have a rest!
5. Breastfeeding can be painful but it normally means there is an underlying issue. This could be the latch not quite being right; or positioning not quite being how it should be; or a medical issue such as tongue tie. It is best to seek advice from a breastfeeding expert if this is the case. And by breastfeeding expert I mean a lactation consultant rather than a GP, midwife or health visitor!
6. Invest in a decent nursing bra. There is nothing more uncomfortable than an ill-fitting bra! Get yourself over to the Facebook group Boob or Bust for more accurate fitting!
7. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water. My advice here is to invest in a good water bottle and train up your partner to bring a glass of water to you as you feed!
8. Don’t worry about pumping from the start. This can actually have an adverse effect and cause you to have an oversupply. If you do wish to pump then wait until your supply has established itself, this is usually around the six week mark!
9. Educate yourself. Breastfeeding is a skill to be learnt and takes time to perfect. I recommend the books The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and The Positive Breastfeeding Book.
10. I saved my most important tip until last. FEED ON DEMAND. Don’t make up a schedule, let your baby determine that. It takes the pressure off you and helps your supply to regulate itself!
Hope these are helpful! Let me know in the comments below!