This is a new chapter for this Blog, which I’ve been neglecting for a while despite having the good intentions of posting again one day. Today is the day! New ideas While this is another “mommy Blog” it’ll have some new elements like a strong […]
You’ve decided to breastfeed your baby and should be that simple right? I mean, how hard could it be, it’s simple you think, you just have to plug him into your breast and that’s it. Well Breastfeeding is far from simple, sorry to break this truth to you. Many have struggled and, it’s not totally painless, some point or another you might feel discomfort. I’ve got a nice post called “Breast pain when breastfeeding” about problems that could arise, please have a look at it should you ever feel any discomfort. So, in order to ease a bit this amazing journey (yet not a straightforward one) I’ve got here for you my top tips Breastfeeding.
Unless they hurt or they are engorged, massage your breasts before and after each feed like if you were playing with dough (not too rough though!). I know you are thinking I’m nuts or that I’m writing late around midnight when I should be in bed (looking at the lower right of the screen I can see that in fact it is), but it’s for a good reason! Massaging them has many advantages like:
- Helps to increase more milk
- Helps to prevent blocked milk ducts
- Slows down and prevents the sagging of breast skin and tissue.
There’s actually something called Breast compression which helps the baby to suck milk or even to subtract milk by yourself, it’s massage with fairly light pressure with movements from inwards to outwards the nipple. I actually did that the same day of my delivery, it helped my baby to start breastfeeding.
Hydrate and repeat
This is common sense, if it’s recommended that a non breastfeeding person needs to drink at least 2 litres of water a day, imagine how much a breastfeeding mum might need? We are giving our own liquid and nutrients of our bodies to our little one!
I used to wonder why I was so thirsty all the time and being so hungry after one of those cluster-feeding nights. When we are hungry we go and get something to eat but I think we normally skip drinking water more often than we want to admit.
I remember a midwife told me to drink a glass of water every hour or so. I try to do that but sometimes I forget, but the body and the baby does remind you about it and not in a nice way! You are taking care of yourself in order to be able to take care of another little person. So please remember to drink water or tea often.
Beware of some teas
Some tea are high on caffeine, and some have not so good properties that could pass on to baby through milk, or could actually reduce your milk production. Here’s a useful list from Kellymom.com about which herbs used for teas we should avoid (for more information, click on the link highlighted above):
- Peppermint (Months piperita)/Menthol
- Star anise
- Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
- Dong Quai (Angelica Root)
- Sage (Salvia officinalis)
- Lemon Balm
Now, there’s also good teas that actually help to increase milk production like Fenugreek, Fennel, Stinging nettle, Goat’s rue, Alfalfa, Milk thistle, Anise, Marshmallow root, Blessed Thistle, Red Raspberry leaf, Coriander, Caraway, Verbena, and my favourite, Rooibos, which not only helps with milk production but boosts the immune system as it’s high on Vitamin C, and has soothing properties for colicky babies too!
Avoid alcohol and fizzy drinks
Well we knew that alcohol is a big no no during pregnancy and during breastfeeding, but what about fizzy drinks?
Most of the fizzy drinks are full of sugar and acidic components, also lots of gas. Sugar in excess is not good and in my experience, carbonated drinks would make my baby have trapped wind and would be so upset and in pain.
I believe he was a bit colicky but me drinking the odd coca cola affected him greatly so I try to drink just two sips now and then (I normally share a can with my husband who would drink most of it).
Also, it happens when I drink milkshakes, I suspect I’ve developed milk intolerance as every time I eat cream, drink milk or milk derivatives as milkshakes (one of my favourite drinks unfortunately) and lattes, it upsets my stomach so much that I either have diarrhea and feel bloated and with lots of wind and stomach cramps. Apparently it passes to my baby as he feels a milder (yet some) reaction too.
Alternate left and right
One thing that helped me was to alternate breasts when feeding. I’ve learned it in the hard way when the first nights I would feed my baby from the same side all night long, as we co-sleep I felt so lazy/tired to move and grab baby and put him on the other breast.
What happened? Well I woke up with massive engorgement on the side I didn’t breastfeed that night! And believe me it is painful as hell, you don’t really want to go through that.
So even if you are tired, try to feed him in one breast until it’s almost empty, then switch breast if your baby is still hungry, or just remember to breastfeed on that other side in the next feed.
Avoid sleeping on compressing tops/bras
Once or twice I slept on my tight breastfeeding bras in summer as it was so hot I couldn’t bear sleeping in my pyjamas or breastfeeding tops. I made a huge mistake.
I woke up with lumps on the side it was compressed, also consequently I experienced engorgement and mastitis.
Now I use tops and sometimes very comfortable bras that aren’t tight at all (and doesn’t offer much support, you can’t always win) for sleeping or for walking around the house. They are also very easy to open for access to feedings.
So, these are so far my tips for you, I hope I helped saving you from experiencing some of those moments I went through.
Breastfeeding is a unique experience, there’s no full stories alike, but there are little common problems that affect all nursing mums around the world. So any little advice is helpful for all those who are yet to go through them.
Do you have any advice or recommendation you want to share with us? Please write a comment below, we like reading from you and share experiences and advice.
With light and joy,
I’ve been writing a lot about breastfeeding and about mothers and babies, but Daddies are equally helpful when taking care of the children, regardless their very different approach. As mothers, we do our best caring of our little ones, sometimes we might become a bit […]
Breastfeeding comes with its multiple advantages, and some disadvantages, some latter are pains. In this post I’ll tell you all about some ugly side of my journey, about breast pain when breastfeeding. I hope it won’t deter you from giving your own milk to your […]
If you are a breastfeeding mother, chances are that your immune system is weakened by dealing with bad cold weather, colds passed by family or friends (or your own children) but mainly from being tired and having your hormones like a roller coaster. As you know, anything you eat part of it ends up in your baby’s milk, that’s why you try to eat healthily as much as you can, but you also have to watch out for medicines. I support natural whenever there’s no need to medical intervention, and the ones I use for treating my colds so far have been effective, here I share with you my healthy home remedies.
Yes, a popular and well-known vitamin, people tend to think Oranges when you mention this one, but you can find Vitamin C in many fruits and vegetables. Here’s some by order in colours:
Strawberries for instance are very rich not only in Vitamin C but many healthy goods as antioxidants and fiber. Cherries are actually packed with 65 times more Vitamin C than oranges! Tomatoes are also well packed with it, they are even more concentrated in sun-dried tomatoes.
Bell Peppers of this colour has the more concentration of Vitamin C than its other coloured siblings, second would be the red ones. Melons are great too and so nice as a snack in hot summer. Lemon and Oranges are known widely, but not so known is Cauliflower, which is also packed with good stuff as vitamin K, fiber and folates.
- Green: Kale, Spinach, green Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Kiwis, Brussels Sprouts and herbs are few to name that probably you haven’t thought of.
- Dark Coloured: Black currant, blue berries. Also contain Antioxidants, Iron and Potassium in their list of natural benefits.
Not everybody likes honey but I do, and it’s so delicious on orange slices as a healthy snack (yummy!), or in hot tea, or even in hot food like spare ribs or chicken wings.
The great benefits that honey holds are delivered best when you consume it raw and not cooked or in hot foods or hot drinks. Some people even use honey topically for treating wounds and skin conditions as it has antibacterial properties.
There’re many types of honey as its variation depends on of the type of flower the bees of the colony collect the pollen from. The best I found to treat a bad cold is Raw Manuka Honey from Wedderspoon, I take 1 or two teaspoons on its own. It tastes rich and sweet, really nice taste of real natural honey, also the texture is a bit on the chewy side than liquid as the supermarket branded ones.
Even though it’s very good, please do not give any to you child if he or she is younger than a year as it can cause Botulism.
Who doesn’t like warm baths? They are relaxing for your tired and maybe achy body, calms nerves and relaxes your mind. In many cultures is a habit to take a bath by the end of the day not only for hygienic purposes and relaxing benefits but because it’s part of tradition, like in Japan, which they use a deeper bath than its western counterparts called Ofuro.
Baths are also good for treating minor respiratory and skin problems, as the vapours open up stuffy noses and pores. I like using Eucalyptus Salts or Bath Soaks, as it adds extra benefits as is anti-inflammatory, also as its a natural descongestant it stimulates to breathe better.
Add more Zzz’s
Doctors will always prescribe ALWAYS more rest, to help the body to regenerate itself. So much is happening in our bodies during bed time, even though we are still (most of the people are, at least big part of it) and hyperactive people might think it’s a waste of time, but it’s necessary for our survival.
Sleeping the necessary 7 or 8 hours per day allows our mind to declutter better, slowly getting rid of anxiety or stress, also the muscles relax during sleep and boosts the immune system.
If you google Benefits of sleeping more, you’ll find a myriad of websites stating benefits and advantages of a good sleep, it’s part of nature as all living beings needs this state in order to function. But there’s also a warning, while it’s good to sleep well and for an amount of time, sleeping excessively (unless is needed for medical reasons) can be counterproductive. So as always, never do things in excess!
Drink plenty of fluids
And I don’t mean fizzy drinks, alcohol, sugary drinks.. Water is pretty much-needed to hydrate the body, some people wouldn’t drink water and prefers their cup of tea, but it’s not the same.
Water is needed to hydrate our body, which loses a lot of it while we breathe, when we digest, sweat, urinate etc.. It keeps our body functions up, it helps to regulate our body temperature, and keeping its cells, organs and tissues well moist. When we have a cold we lose a lot of water with fever and vapours we exhale while breathing.
In England, I read that they advise drinking plenty of tea to keep hydrated, I understand that drinking tea is somewhat a habit here, more than drinking water, but I believe it’s not the same. But if you don’t like plain water just dilute as much you can your tea. A claim from a prominent university in London states tea is better because of antioxidants, but remember tea has caffeine in it, water doesn’t, a high consumption of caffeine can increase heart rate, elevate anxiety and stress. I suggest drinking tea and water, maybe alternating between both.
Stay positive and happy
I know it may sound cliche or weird to ask someone ill to stay positive and happy, but it actually helps. People that are happier and positive are more in tune with their bodies.
We know that stress and anxiety causes havoc not only in our brains but our whole self, happiness and positive thoughts actually does the contrary.. When we are happy and positive we are calmer and peaceful, or we could be excited and hopeful, either way makes any pain more bearable, boosts the immune system, helps combat diseases and stress or anxiety, protects the heart, and more.
So be grateful for living, for the love you receive from your closest people, for the good you’ve got in your life… And be grateful for all the great things coming to you, this way you’ll bring more happiness in your life.
With joy and light,