There is a common misconception that breastfeeding is very easy, while it is quite a natural thing to do it can also be tricky. For ultimate result, using a variety of techniques and having perseverance will help you along your breastfeeding journey.
- Make sure you are latching the baby on correctly. Incorrect latching can cause you pains and affect how much milk the baby gets. Although pains in the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding is quite common but it should ease down after a while. Good latching is when the whole areola (the dark area surrounding the nipples) is all inside the baby’s mouth. you want to see the jaw of the baby moving up and down.
- Try different positions. find which way works best for you and your baby. Find a positing that is most comfortable. Football hold, cradle hold, cross cradle hold and side lying hold are some of the positions to choose from. You can use all four or choose a few that is best for you at a given time, say for example the side lying position may be good for you when you are co-sleeping or you want to give your back a rest, that position will not be useful if you are out and about and needs to feed your baby.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help from professionals or people who have experienced breastfeeding before. You might feel ashamed to ask for help but asking for help doesn’t mean you have failed as a mother. You might think if you can’t do something so natural and simple (after all you need to do is stick the boobs in the baby’s mouth right? wrong). Breastfeeding is more than that, it can be complex especially when there are other factors involved like tongue tie, if you had a c-section. Also even if you have had successful previous experience of breastfeeding but are now finding it hard, do not worry, every child is different. Some moms who have had five children struggle with the sixth. Get help from a lactation consultant or speak to your midwife.
- Keep water, fluids and snacks handy everywhere at all times. you need to keep your fluid intake up and breastfeeding burns lots of energy. you may be tempted to avoid the snacks because you want to quickly lose the baby weight but you need the energy as a mom with a newborn baby. The weight will come off naturally and just make sure you snack on healthy food and drink plenty of water
- Don’t compare yourself with other moms. How long their baby feeds for, what position they use, how big is their baby, these are some of the pit falls we can find ourselves. every one is on their own journey and each ones baby and body is different. to know if you are doing it right, your baby should have 5 – 6 wet nappies a day, be gaining weight steadily and your doctor will discourse any concerns with you if there is any.
- Make sure to burp the baby to get rid of trapped winds. Even breastfed babies have winds to. Especially in the early weeks when they are still learning to suck without sucking up air.
- Have these following essentials handy at all times. Comfortable chair and pillows, good supportive bra, breast pads, nipple cream, water bottle, something to entertain you – maybe a book, your tablet to watch something on. Cover-ups are optional or you can wear layers like a camisole under your regular blouse so when one is raised up, the other is still covering you.
Finally remember that regardless of how you choose to feed your baby, and although breast is best, fed is much more better. Formula, bottle, getting breastmilk from others, so far your baby is eating, growing healthily and kept safe, you are alright.