Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby, however it comes with many challenges, and is not as straight forward as it may seem. Depending on how the childbirth experience went, some women are not able to feed their babies straight away, which will in turn affect their milk supply.
Breastfeeding works on supply and demand. The more you put the baby on the breast to feed, the more milk your body will produce. If the baby is still hungry after breastfeeding, you can top up with formula milk. Pumping straight after a feed can also help your body produce more milk.
Eat and drink well
Ensure that you are eating healthy and have a well balanced diet. Breastfeeding also makes you thirsty so ensure you are having plenty of water. Always keep a water bottle on hand when you sit down to breastfeed.
Latching is the most important skill your baby needs to learn. Bring the baby up to your breast and wait for them to open their mouth. Keep your hands behind the baby’s neck so that they can move their head back to latch on. The baby needs to get a good mouthful of the areola.
Posture and Positions
It is important to ensure that you are comfortable when you breastfeed. You can support your body with pillows and cushions. The baby’s body should also be straight with their mouth and body facing the same way. If due to a difficult birth experience, you find sitting up to breastfeed is painful, then you can breastfeed laying down.
It is normal to experience soreness after feeding. You can use lanolin ointments to help heal cracked nipples. There are also natural remedies such as putting a cool cabbage leaf on the affected areas.
If you find yourself struggling, there are many local organisations that can support you. Check out your local Children’s Centre to see if they offer a breastfeeding cafe. Additionally, health visitors and your GP will be able to signpost you to additional support. You can also join BuddyWith’s community of local mums who can support you. Please also check out My Outspace’s Peer to Peer support groups in Croydon to find out more about local services.
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