Monday 24 June 2013

My 5 Tips for Successful Breastfeeding

Here are my top tips for a successful breastfeeding journey.  I'd love to hear your top tips so please share them in the comments.

  1. Patience - It's a hard one for me, but I hope I'm improving.  When things start to overwhelm me and I am woken for the sixth time in a night by my toddler physically trying to roll me over to get at the "boobie" I try to remind myself that these wakings don't last forever, and that she will only be this little for a short amount of time.
  2. Relax - I can say this as a Mum to two, but I remember how hard it was to relax when I had my first.  William couldn't breathe without me writing it down in the journal.  Once I knew he was gaining weight and was feeding well I felt a huge sense of relief adn I was able to throw away the journal and just use my baby and my instincts to guide me.  Second time around I have been much more relaxed.  I have watched my baby and listened to my instincts and we really have enjoyed the first few months so much more.
  3. Trust - Our bodies are amazing!  We can forget this sometimes, especialy when everything and everyone are telling us we can't possibly birth a baby without 'help', and at our own pace or provide all that they need to eat after birth.  It can sometimes seem that everything is pointing towards a low supply, but we need to remember that our bodies are designed to nourish babies.
  • Babies can be fussy - It's not always a sign of hunger.  Try burping, changing, rocking to calm baby.  It must be so overwhelming for a baby to enter the World and begin to breathe air and digest milk.  All bodily functions are new experiences to a newborn and could unsettle baby and I think we jump to a solution such as "not enough milk", "colic" or "reflux" too quickly without letting baby take a minute to adjust to life in the outisde World.
  • Babies like to eat - and at times they like to eat for long periods of time and very often.  To many new Mums and their families this might make them think that they are not getting enough milk.  If you step back and think for a second you will remember that their tummies are tiny and they need to be filled regularly.  Breastmilk is digested quickly and when a baby goes through a growth spurt they feed a lot more frequently to tell your body to make more milk.
 These are all normal behaviours but easily mistaken for a low milk supply.

      4. Logic - Having a baby can be quite an emotional time and we can often think with our heart.  Sometimes when we question our decisions or guidance we are given by others logic can really be our friend.  One example could be weight gain and do you have enough milk.  You don't need to see milk to know that it's there.  If a family member questions your supply for any reason think about it rationally.  Is baby pooping?  Is baby peeing?  Is baby content and alert?  If milk is going in then something is going to come out.  During a weigh-in, if the weight isn't what is expected from the health professional  ask yourself a few questions.  Is baby wearing different clothes or was baby naked last time?  Is the scale on a solid, flat surface?  Has anything happened since the last weight such as an illness or growth spurt?  Has the weight been converted correctly from g to lbs and has the mark been placed in the correct spot on the weight chart?  You may also want to know what the expectations are of the health professional you are speaking to.  Do they expect a weight gain which is too high from working with lots of formula fed infants.  A typical weight gain might be 3.5oz-7oz a week.  Don't hesitate to ask them more questions and take into account the entire picture and not just the weight.

5.  Surround yourself with great supporters - We all need a little healp and encouragement sometimes.  Asking for advice from the right person can make a huge difference in the choices we make.  Ask three different people the same question and you will get three different answers.

"I have sore nipples, what can I do?"
  • Oh yes, I had sore nipples so I gave a bottle of formula to give them a break and the baby preferred the bottle so I stopped breastfeeding.
  • That's normal, your nipples will toughen up!
  • When I had sore nipples I went to my local breastfeeding support group and they wroked on my position and latch which was great.
If you want great support for breastfeeding, seek out the best places to get it before you have the baby.  Attend your local support group and talk to those already breastfeeding so that you know where to go when the baby arrives.  Check out a few facebook groups and forums to see if their parenting techniques reflect yours.  Here are a few great ones for you to check out and find out for yourself -

What top tips do you have to share about your breastfeeding experiences?

This post is part of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt which is running from June 23-29, 2013 during National Breastfeeding Awareness Week.  Over 40 bloggers and 25 companies are taking part.  Bloggers will be writing about their breastfeeding experiences all week and there will be lots and lots of prizes up for grabs.  Each time you read a post you will have the chance to earn points by entering the rafflecopter attached to the post.  The more posts you read, the more points you gain.  At 50 points you become eligible to be entered for the chance to win the main prize with over £1000 worth of breastfeeding goodies.  Please enter using the rafflecopter below, and check out these other fabulous bloggers to read more about breastfeeding and to find more rafflecopters to enter.

Life Happens So Smile

Mixed Bag of All Sorts

My Thoughts on Things

Pea Musings

Diary of A First Child

The fabulous Thrupenny Bits have promised a beautiful Nursing Pillow for the winner of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt which is not only great for nursing but is portable and can be used as a bag after nursing has ended.

Here is the Rafflecopter -

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The more relaxed you are the more relaxed baby will be. Take the time to enjoy the closeness you have with your baby. Make sure to have snacks and water at hand in the early days. Feeding made me so hungry at first.

  2. Don't always listen to the older generations on breastfeeding. Cluster feeding = milk not good enough for baby according to a relative of mine.

  3. Just relax and follow baby's lead. They won't overfeed or starve themselves. And enjoy the snuggly sleepy feeding cuddles, they end far too soon!

  4. Expect feeding to take up about 8 hours a day to start with. If it doesn't then lucky you, and if it does, lucky you. Put your feet up and relax and enjoy the pace and the time with your child :)

  5. just keep going after having twins I found it hard but I was persistant x

  6. ignore clocks. feed as often and for as long as baby wants

  7. Drink plenty of water and carry a bottle with you - its very thirst work!

  8. Always wear a vest top under your clothes to help with public feeing x

  9. Follow baby's lead for feeding and always be comfortable

  10. My tip was also to relax - followed by acceptance. Accept normal newborn behaviour and accept that you need help.

  11. my top tip would be to get to your local support groups before baby arrives, meet the breastfeeding supporters and local breastfeeding mums. These people and their companionship, support, knowledge and experience will be so valuable to you, and its easier to go to them after baby is born if you have already met them

  12. Relax, it will all come ood in the end! knowing that made me determined to continue in the early days! Eat lots and drink lots too!

  13. my top tip is read the la leche league book - the womanly art of breastfeeding. Its very useful and has info on local LLL groups for mums!

  14. Get all the help and support you can with getting your Latch right

  15. Be aware that around 10% of babies are tongue-tied, which can interfere with nursing. Most HCPs won't spot this (especially a posterior tie). Try a lactation consultant for better help!

  16. The much over used phrase 'keep calm and carry on' applies to breastfeeding in my mind, just ignore all the comments, 'advice' and any funny looks and get on with it!!

  17. My top tip is never let yourself or others question your milk supply, if your baby is producing plenty of wet and dirty nappies then your doing a good job :)

  18. These tips are brilliant. I would add to do your research on normal newborn sleeping and feeding behaviour before baby arrives so that you can be prepared.

  19. get comfy, have the tv remote, your phone, chocolate & a water bottle handy, you spend a lot of time feeding in the beginning!

  20. It is sometimes overwhelming, I found it easier to take each day one at a time.