Breastfeeding is a gift for your baby that keeps on giving, so enjoy the time together and seek help if you are having difficulties.
There is plenty of support out there for new Mums.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet while breastfeeding to ensure you get plenty of iron, protein and calcium.
- Try to feed frequently, as this will help you to maintain your milk supply.
- At each feed, offer both breasts, but wait until your baby seems finished with one before changing over. Signs may be your baby coming of the breast or seeming unsettled. Your breast will feel quite soft when it is emptier. Offering one breast first ensures that your baby gets the nourishing milk that is delivered later in the feed.
- If your breasts start to feel uncomfortably full try to encourage your baby to feed with gentle techniques like unwrapping them and placing them on your bare chest where they will smell your milk. Stroking their cheek with your nipple may also rouse their interest in feeding. If you are unable to feed your baby then it is important that you don’t stay overly full. Hand express enough for comfort if you will be able to feed shortly, or a good full express if you will be away some time. This regular emptying will ensure a good milk supply and your baby can still have your milk in your absence.
- You can keep expressed milk in a sealed container in the back of the fridge (not the door) for up to 3-5 days. Alternatively, expressed breast milk can be kept safely in the freezer for up to 6 months. Find out more about breast milk storage times and information.
- If your breasts are leaking, try using breast pads to absorb leaking milk. Change pads frequently to avoid the nipple becoming too soggy and prone to infection. Use waterproof breastpads only infrequently. An unwanted let-down can be stopped by crossing your arms and using your hands to place pressure directly on the nipple.
- If your nipples are sore, dry and/or cracked, the positioning and latch of the baby may need correcting. If it doesn’t feel right, if its painful, then the latch is not correct. Ask for help from a lactation consultant.
- Find a comfortable position to feed in whilst lying down, as this will give you a chance to have a break. It is important you take all the time you need and are not rushed. Breastfeeding is a gift for your baby that keeps on giving, so enjoy the time together and seek help if you are having difficulties. There is plenty of support out there for new Mums.
- Ask for your partner’s support – ask for them to bring you some water and a snack whenever you are feeding.
- Get a good chair or breastfeeding pillow and create a feeding area, with some magazines or books so you can relax while you feed.