When I was asked the big question, naturally my first thought was “I’m going to breastfeed” because all the woman in my life have breastfed and that’s what the obvious thing to do. It’s the natural thing to do. At first I thought breastfeeding would be an intuitive experience but sadly it was not. It was more of a learning experience for me and my baby. It wasn’t easy. The first week I was in agonising pain. It’s safe to say I didn’t have a good start – even though my little girl latched quickly, her latch (which I found out later) wasn’t “correct” which left my nipples raw and extremely sore. Breastfeeding takes a lot of patience, observation and work and this is just a few of things people don’t really talk about. I realised I needed help. A lot of help. I spoke to a few mums and in the end hired a Lactation consultant who helped and guided me through the process. Thankfully. This was the best investment I made for my little girl and I. It’s still not the easiest thing about motherhood and the thought of nursing a baby with teeth is daunting ( we’ll cross that bridge when we get there) but it has been a positive experience and an incredible time to bond. Now I’m not going to bore you with the technical details of breastfeeding because I’m not qualified to do that but instead I would like to share tips to help new mums have a more positive breastfeeding experience.
10 Quick Tips For A Positive Breastfeeding Experience
1. Relax. All your muscles. If you’re tense you won’t produce milk easily, you won’t be comfortable and your baby won’t either.
2. Find a comfortable place. This is so important. Breastfeeding can take up a lot of time. You need good back and leg support while feeding your baby.
3. Ask for help. From other mothers or from your local lactation consultant. If you can afford one, I highly recommend hiring one. She will teach you everything you need to know.
4. Use a nursing pillow. Don’t underestimate this pillow. Use one with added back support. It helps to keep the baby in the correct position and takes the pressure off your arms. You are also able to be hands free to browse through your phone or a book or sip a nice cup of tea. Breastfeeding can take a really long time.
5. Get a cover. At some point you need to get out of the house and this helps if you are shy or nervous to breastfeed in public. Some woman are completely comfortable but there’s no rush. Take your time and move at your own pace.
6. Stay hydrated. Because you will feel thirsty – all the time. Breastfeeding takes so much from you and being dehydrated is not good for you, your baby or your body. Keep a bottle of water nearby at all times.
7. Buy nursing tops. This makes all the difference. Having easy access to your breasts in the early days will ensure that your baby gets latched on faster.
8. Believe in yourself. This is what your breasts were created for – to nourish and sustain your child.
9. Eat well. It’s important to follow a healthy diet not only for the baby but for your general well being. When you eat good, you feel good. Eat foods that help your milk supply and that give you energy and put a smile on your face.
10. Join a breastfeeding support or a mummy group in your neighbourhood. This was so helpful for me because it made me a lot more comfortable and gave me so much more confidence to continue our breastfeeding journey.
I would like to thank With A Little Grace Photography for taking these lovely images of my daughter and I during her Normalise Breastfeeding campaign. We were so privileged to be apart of it and I hope that society stops shaming woman for simply doing that nature intended.
Do you have any more tips to add? What made breastfeeding easy for you?
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