Breastfeeding – Getting Started
For some mums and babies, breastfeeding is easy but other women it is a difficult journey until it eventually clicks into place until they stop and switch to formula (please note that I didn’t say ‘give up’ – no mother should ever feel guilty or feel like they have failed for choosing formula)
So what’s going to help?
- Long skin to skin cuddles can make breastfeeding easier, as this can stimulate your milk supply as well as help you and your baby get to know each other.
- Be prepared to be in bed or beached on the sofa with your baby for much of the time in those first few days. This can be quite difficult for women who are used to being on the go but enjoy those cuddles with your baby and it is your chance to rest!
- You may want to show your baby off to everyone but there are a lot of benefits to having a few days of peace at home as you get to know your baby. It’s calm, quiet and less disturbing for your baby and you can enjoy plenty of skin to skin cuddles with your baby – chances are you won’t feel comfortable getting your boobs out if your
father-in-law is about!
- If feeding doesn’t come easily, get some support and you may need to remind yourself why you want to breastfeed and how easy it is going to be!
- If feeding is painful it isn’t right – please ask for some support because this can make all the difference.
- It’s hard when it is your first baby but try not to over-analyse it – be led by your baby and feed as often as your baby needs to. This means you are responding to your baby and you will be boosting your milk supply. Your new baby’s tummy is tiny – no bigger than a walnut – and breast milk is quickly digested so he will need to feed little and often.
- It is normal for feeding to feel a little sore to start with, those first couple of sucks of each feed can hurt but if your baby is latched on correctly it should not continue to hurt. If it does, take your baby off your breast and try again. To remove your baby easily, just insert your little finger into their mouth to break the suction.
Here’s what some of you had to say:
“I likened it to wearing flip flops. For the first few wears they are uncomfortable shoes and it hurts between your toes but they soon become the comfiest shoes ever!”
“If it hurts, it’s not right. Ask for help. And keep asking until it stops hurting…”
“Lots of skin to skin, lots of time spent on it, no rush and no worrying about visitors, housework, shopping etc…”
“I think having the confidence to realise that some babies will nurse and nurse and nurse, and that it’s all just normal.”
It’s going well if:
- Your baby is feeding at least six to eight times a day
- It feels comfortable
- Your breasts feel emptier and softer after feeds
- Your baby looks a healthy colour and has firm skin
- Your baby has at least six to eight wet nappies a day
- You can see your baby swallow while he is feeding
- Your baby sucks and pauses during feeds and he comes off your breast spontaneously when he’s finished
- Your baby is putting on weight