B R E A S T I S B E S T - Breast Feeding Tips for Mums

Here is a series of breastfeeding and infant nutrition support advice.

Wendy Ross - breastfeeding counsellor at The Childcare Partnership,

"Working with breastfeeding mothers I have found that many have stopped breastfeeding before they really intended to. The primary reason for this was that mothers felt they weren't getting the support they needed after their baby was born."

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"My findings have been backed up by a study in 2012 which concluded that only one third of mothers who planned on exclusively breastfeeding for 3 months or more actually achieved this."

"The study found that there were for main reasons why this didn't happen:-

  1. Difficult Start - It can take a little time for mother and baby to get the hang of breastfeeding and often the mother is exhausted after a long and difficult delivery.

  2. They worry that their baby isn't getting enough milk - parents are anxious that they can't see how much milk the baby is getting and don't understand that breast fed babies feed more frequently than bottle fed babies.

  3. Pain and discomfort - There should be no pain for a mother if positioning and attachment are correct.

  4. Returning to work - Mothers have doubts over whether their workplace will be supportive and flexible; allowing them to continue breastfeeding their baby.

The answer to all of these concerns is the right support."

If you feel you would like one on one support Wendy is available to visit you at home to empower you with the information you need to make an informed choice about breastfeeding your baby and then provide the ongoing support you need. Call Wendy on 01522 718 987.

Now on with the tips..

Be prepared.

Your body will make its own preparations for breast feeding but there are a few things that you can do to help.

  • Talk to other mothers who have successfully breast fed.

  • Don’t listen to “old wives tales” Get the correct facts from people who know.

  • Learn as much as you can about breastfeeding.

  • Find resources in your area, breast feeding support groups, antenatal classes or a breast feeding counsellor. Call us on 01522 718 987 to discuss our Breast Feeding Counselling antenatal and postnatal courses.

  • Cook extra meals and freeze them. If anyone asks if you need help say YES PLEASE!!

The more you know about breastfeeding and its benefits the more confident you will become and more likely to succeed.

Right positioning and attachment is the key

  • Make sure you are comfortable and have everything you need, you could be there for a while.

  • Is your baby’s head and body in a straight line? If not, your baby might not be able to swallow easily

  • Are you holding your baby close to you and facing your breast? You should support baby’s shoulders and back but he should be able to tilt his head back and swallow easily and shouldn’t have to struggle to get reach your breast.

  • Is your baby’s nose opposite your nipple? Your baby needs to get a big mouthful of breast from beneath the nipple. Positioning your baby with their nose level with your nipple will allow him to reach up and attach to the breast correctly.

Eating and drinking

  • You don’t have to eat anything special while you are breastfeeding, but it is a good idea for you, just like anyone else, to eat a healthy diet.

  • Drink when you are thirsty. Remember to have a drink ready when you begin to breastfeed.

  • If you have large amounts of caffeine your baby may become irritable and have trouble sleeping, but there is no evidence that little caffeine, in moderate amounts, has any effect.

Ask for help early if you are struggling

  • You will never be expected to do such an important job with so little training.

  • Research proves that breastfeeding mothers who have a robust support system in place are more likely to succeed.

  • There are professional organisations who offer telephone support.

  • Mother to mother support groups are available.

  • Friends can be a great help as long as they are giving you the correct information, but if they have had a bad experience their views may be negative.

  • Breast feeding counsellors who are highly trained and will support you in your own home. Contact us to discuss the services we offer.

Skin to skin care is essential

  • Skin to skin or Kangaroo care is a multi-sensory experience which accelerates brain maturity. Research shows that babies who have long periods of undisturbed skin to skin care spend more time in quiet sleep which decreases baby’s stress responses.

  • The baby who has direct skin contact with its mother often cry less and appear less agitated.

  • Maintaining body temperature is essential for young baby to thrive. Within minutes of being placed in the skin to skin position the mother’s breasts automatically adjust to cool the baby down or warm him up in response to what the baby needs.

  • The development of the brain in babies depends on the quality of their sleep cycling. During skin to skin care most babies fall asleep easily and achieve quiet sleep.

  • Baby’s immune system is stimulated when placed in skin to skin. The mother’s mature immune system passes antibodies through her skin and breast milk to her baby.

  • Research shows that babies who have long periods of skin to skin care maintain their birth weight and keep a warm body temperature. As a result the baby’s body does not have to burn its own fat stores to stay warm, resulting in a better weight gain.

  • A baby place in a skin to skin position immediately after delivery with self-regulate his heart beat and breathing pattern.

  • Studies have shown that new-borns held in skin to skin immediately after birth are twice as likely to breast feed within the first hours. One hour of skin to skin increases feeding frequency and raises the breast feeding hormones in the mother.

Time

  • It may take 2-3 weeks for you and your baby to get into a breastfeeding routine. Don’t worry this is normal.

  • Your baby may feed 10 – 12 times a day to begin with. Don’t worry this is normal.

  • Your baby may have periods where he feeds on and off for a couple of hours, usually in the evening. Don’t worry this is normal.

  • Your baby will have growth spurts at around 2 weeks and then at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months. Your baby will want to feed a lot to increase your milk supply so he can grow. Your baby may want to feed every 30 to 60 minutes and stay at the breast for longer periods. Don’t worry this is normal. This frequent feeding for growth spurts is temporary and after a few days your milk supply will increase to provide enough milk for each feed.

Is breast feeding for me?

Even with all the right information and support some women feel they are unable to breast feed

  • Some woman worry about the size and shape of their breasts/nipples.

  • They may have listened to friends and families talking about their negative experiences of breast feeding.

  • They may be embarrassed and feel they would never be able to feed their baby in front of other people.

  • They worry they won’t know how much milk their baby is receiving.

  • If you require unbiased non-judgemental information regarding breast feeding or alternative infant feeding options contact us

Sleep

You are more likely to feed your baby more frequently and for longer periods if you are breast feeding. Breast milk is digested quicker and the baby will only take what he needs at each feed therefore will usually need to feed frequently, especially in the early days.

Take care of yourself and try to sleep when your baby sleeps.

Be prepared. Cook extra meals before your baby is born and freeze them. When friends and family come to visit they can still chat to you while they are doing your ironing.

If anyone offers help, take it. Don’t be proud and feel you are failing if you need help. If you started a new job and was struggling you would ask someone who knew how to do the job for support.

Partners sometimes feel left out as they are not able to help with the feeds but there are so many other things they can help with. Make the most of it. Have a power nap while they bathes the baby or take him out for a walk.

Benefits. There are many benefits of breast feeding for both mother and baby.

  • Breast feeding protects your baby from some illnesses including, gastroenteritis, ear infections, some childhood cancers, diabetes, and high cholesterol in later life.

  • Breast feeding can protect your baby from developing allergies.

  • Breast feeding may boost our child’s IQ.

  • Breast feeding may protect your baby from obesity.

  • Breast feeding may lower your baby’s risk of cot death.

  • Breast feeding can reduce your stress levels and your risk of postnatal depression.

  • Breast feeding may reduce your risk of some types of female cancers.

  • Breast feeding may reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Education

  • There is a wealth of education regarding breast feeding, online, books, leaflets, support groups, friends and family.

  • For unbiased non-judgmental breast feeding information contact us.

  • I will visit you in your home at a time that is convenient to you and support your breast feeding needs both antenatally and postnatally.

Support. Partners can be an invaluable support to the new mother but they need to have all the correct information.

  • They can attend antenatal or breast feeding sessions. Learning the same information as your partner and discussing it together can be really helpful, especially in the early days when everything is new and sometimes feels overwhelming.

  • Arrange to have leave from work when your new baby is due, talk to your employers and plan your leave early But remember baby’s don’t always arrive on their due date.

  • Make like easier for the new mum wherever possible, bring her dinner or a cup of tea. Simple gestures mean such a lot.

  • You can bath baby, take it for a walk do skin to skin care, anything to give the mum a bit of a break.

  • Provide some stress relief. If you have other children take the stress away from mum by keeping them entertained while she feeds the baby.

  • Do your bit around the house and ensure she has a little bit of "me time".

  • Get involved in your baby’s care. Giving your baby a bath, changing its nappy and being part of the bedtime routine are great ways of you boding with your baby.

  • If you need the help of a qualified nanny to come into your home and teach you parent craft contact us.

Treat yourself. You have gone through a 9 month pregnancy, delivered a baby and are probably sleep deprived you deserve to treat yourself.

You can have a fully qualified nanny to come to your home or venue of choice and care for your children while you have a break. Click on the button for info on Day Nannies.

You can have a night nanny who will arrive in the evening, follow your normal bedtime routine and care for your children while you sleep. Click on the button to find out more about Night Nannies.

Have you been invited to a wedding or special occasion and are still breast feeding your baby? How good would it be to take a qualified nanny with you to care for your baby while you enjoy the day.