Breastfeeding – Top Tips
Top Tips for breastfeeding
By Maeve Murray & Kathryn Foskin
Maeve has been a Cuidiú Breastfeeding Counsellor (BFC) for three years and is the BFC Rep on the Committee. Kathryn is one of our 19 Trainee BFCs in Cork and is also a member of the Cuidiú Cork committee.
The Mams in our Cuidiú Facebook group are such a great source of breastfeeding support and information.
So much so, we asked them what their top tips were and this is what they told us!
- Feed in public. No one actually notices!!
- When you get home from hospital you feed the baby and your partner feeds you!
- Have a supply of lanolin in the early days. Lanolin helps to ease the discomfort that you may feel at the start of a feed when you and your baby are both learning to breastfeed. Soften a bit between your fingers and rub it on your nipple before a feed. It is pure enough to leave on even while your baby is feeding.
- Seek support as soon as you need it. Whether it be a Cuidiú Breastfeeding Counsellor (BFC) (see image for contact numbers), a La Leche league Leader, a Friends of breastfeeding Buddy or a lactation consultant who visit you in hospital or at home. Their fee is usually around €130. Many health insurance policies refund some of this cost.
- Breastfeeding twins (or more!) is possible, your body simply adjusts supply depending on demand.
- Watch the baby, not the clock. If your baby is rooting, sucking his hands and licking his lips, they are ready to feed. Feeding by the clock can cause problems as it’s your baby that sets your supply according to their own individual growth needs.
- Go to a Cuidiú breastfeeding support group before your baby is born. There will be a wealth of knowledge available to help you prepare.
- Resist advice to stretch out feeds, babies are designed to eat little and often.
Research is now showing that the longer feeds are spaced out, the more acidic the stomach environment becomes causing pain and discomfort and reflux-like symptoms in some babies.
- Milk is a natural acid buffer so feeding them when they signal for a feed makes sense!
- Babies show us they want to feed by licking their lips, rooting, opening their
mouths, opening their eyes. Crying is a late hunger sign so if your baby is upset, calm, him by putting him on your chest just under your chin and then offer him a breast.
- Keep you and your baby together as much as possible. Being with your baby and skin to skin makes your milk hormones surge helping you make more milk!
Netflix, snacks and loads of water for the early days!
- Bedshare with your baby safely to make night feeds and sleep easier.
- Baby wearing keeps your baby close to your heartbeat and handy for feeds on the go.
- Silver breast cups are amazing for healing See Earthmother.ie or Amazon for these.
- Pain is always a sign that something needs tweaking – it can be helpful to adjust your body such as:
- Scooch down a bit in your bed or chair.
- Adjust your baby, perhaps making sure he is tummy to tummy with you, adjusting your breast such as gently compressing your breast so your baby gets more of a mouthful. There are lots of things to try!
- Babies wake up generally on night 2 and feed like crazy but it does calm down though don’t worry. Ask the midwives to help you put up the side rail on the bed and tuck your baby in beside you so you can rest while your baby feeds (if you are on meds that may make you drowsy this is not safe).
- Learn how to feed your baby lying down. Putting a rolled-up towel behind your baby’s back can help to keep him tummy to tummy with you while feeding lying down.
- And don’t forget – Nappies: the key to knowing if your baby is getting enough milk. Your baby should be doing one poo per day of life up to day 3 or 4 and
thereafter doing 3 or more poos each day. If you are unsure, have your baby weighed and make sure the weight gain is calculated from the baby’s lowest weight.
- Read, read and read some more before your baby is born.
- Watch Videos! Dr. Jack Newman and Lactation Consultant Nancy Mohrbacher have really helpful videos on feeding in the early days.
- Find your tribe of mothers who are breastfeeding / parenting the way you are.
- If you are still unsure call a trained Cuidiu breastfeeding supporter.
Some Books that you may find helpful:
- Breastfeeding Made Simple -7 natural Laws for nursing mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall Tackett
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, La Leche League