This is a much debated topic. There’s lots of health bodies and professionals who claim that co-sleeping is actually dangerous for babies as it supposedly increases SIDS (sudden infant deaths). Yet there’s more and more studies emerging that with proper advice and following safety and […]
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,
Who said motherhood is natural, easy-going, wonderfully perfect? Oh wait, I already said in another post that it wasn’t! I forgot to mention though that if you are breastfeeding, chances are you are going to go through some not funny episodes with hormones. Yes, they […]
Whatever is the choice of a parent to breastfeed their baby or not, it’s important to remember that it’s about feeding a baby one way or another. I might be getting in troubled waters for some people, because while I’m not getting in the war […]
So you’ve decided to breastfeed, congratulations! I’m sure you are aware that it is not an easy task, it takes a little bit of time to get used to, and that there will be some times that you’ll feel tired of it. Baby is worth all of that, nothing is easy but with love, patience and knowing you are doing your best for your precious one, you will be fine.
You know well that at least you’ll need breast pads and breastfeeding clothing. You might be thinking of wanting to pump and store some milk but not sure what to buy exactly? I’ve been there too so don’t worry, I’ll be showing you what I bought that thought helpful. Here’s what I found to be the best breastfeeding accessories.
I used to associate bibs with feeding, solids feeding rather than anything else. The truth is, when weaning a baby a small bib won’t do, you’ll probably end up needing to change your childs’ clothes or make her wear a waterproof top like the ones used for arts and crafts making.
Now, bibs are pretty much needed for teething when they are drooling all the time, and also for breastfeeding! By putting a bib on your child when breastfeeding, it’ll help collect any leaks and spitting and/or drool. I’ve learned that not any bib will do, but bandanna bibs!
Why bandanna bibs? Because they wrap closer to their neck which doesn’t leave any gaps for liquids to go down to his top, when breastfeeding my baby I’ve noticed the bandanna would gather and scrunch together a bit making like a barrier (without suffocating the baby), so the milk sliding down his chin or the side of his mouth would be caught on that gathering of cloth. Make sure also that bibs are made of cotton and lined with soft fleece. Oh! And poppers are better than Velcro.
I’ve noticed some bibs have some stuff hanging from them like chewing toys and/or cords for soothers. Not wanting to be too overprotective but I found them irrelevant and somehow potentially dangerous. Those hanging objects if caught somewhere else could fatally injure the baby’s neck. Wonder why industrial workers need to wear hats and/or all hair gathered up in a bun?
The nursing pillow is an item that some mum will find it a waste of money, yet to me it proved very helpful. I’ll tell you why.
- Reclining Pillow. I bought it on the second trimester of pregnancy, and I was starting to feel a bit heavy. Reclining on anything hard was not ideal as there was an added weight and the muscles of my lower back were starting to be a bit sore or sensitive. I used then the pillow which gave me the additional support, my husband looked like he wanted another one for himself, mostly when reading his books in bed (I’ve let him had it a couple of times, and some other to beg for it!).
- Nursing Pillow. When I had Bee it fulfilled its purpose as a nursing pillow, and it was very helpful indeed, without it I felt a heavy tension in my arms after holding the baby a while in that position, not a very comfortable one but eventually you get used to it.
- Baby sitting throne pillow. When Bee was 5 months we started sitting him a bit every day, we used the pillow as if it was his throne and he loved it, sometimes he would fall back and slouch yet he loved it. We would sit on front of him to catch him if he fell onward. We also used it for him to lie on his tummy, he wasn’t very keen with tummy time so he didn’t enjoy it much.
Hair clip or scrunchies
You are wondering why is it so important, right? Well, if your hair is shorter than the level of your chin than skip this one! But if it’s longer than that, imagine feeding your baby when your hair gets on your face, or gets stuck on the chair or wherever you are reclining on to. Or that your baby decides to pull it. You won’t be able to put it up, basically you’ll only one hand free to do it, but lets face it, why to bother trying? There’s a saying, Better to prevent rather than trying to fix it!
I use hair clip claws like the ones of Revlon’s strong hair clips.
Thermal mug with straw/sip
When you breastfeed you’ll feel very thirsty, which is pretty normal after all you are feeding your baby from your liquid reservoir, which consequently it dehydrates you. One of the things my midwife told me on day one was, drink a cup of well diluted tea (check which you are allowed as some are prohibited when nursing) or water every hour or half an hour!
I borrowed my husband’s Thermos and had to buy a special straw for it, I love hot chocolate and peppermint tea, but as you are aware, drinking hot drinks while having your baby on your arms is not very wise. Yet, with precautions like drinking from a sippy Thermos cup or with a straw in an enclosed cup does reduce any chances of spilling.
Am I missing any accessory you think is way more important than these? Please share it with us by commenting below! We appreciate any ideas or advice 🙂
With joy and light,
If you are breastfeeding one of the things you normally buy are breast pads, if you don’t buy it before having the baby, eventually you’ll buy some as the breasts tend to leak. There’s two types available so far: reusable breastfeeding pads and disposable ones. […]