Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and I was keen to breastfeed with all three of my children. However, even though it is natural, that does not mean that it comes easily to many mothers and there are many difficulties you can face as a new breastfeeding mum. Thankfully, there are always people on hand to help you solve these problems and make your breastfeeding experience a good one. My experience of breastfeeding three children means I have learned some useful tips along the way.
Useful Breastfeeding Tips
- It is important to sit or lie comfortably as this means you will get a better breastfeeding for your baby and avoid problems with your back.
- Bring the baby to the breast, never the breast to the baby.
- The baby’s mouth should be opened wide to latch on properly and there should be more of the lower part of the areola in their mouth than the upper part.
- Hearing and seeing your baby swallowing rhythmically are signs that they are latched on well.
- Make sure the baby gets the hind milk (hind milk is milk at the end of a feeding), as this is a nutritious part of their feed. Your baby will start off by sucking quickly and then move into a slower, longer suck. They may stop for a rest occasionally before continuing with their feed. When they stop, wind them and then try latching the baby back on to make sure they have everything they need.
- If you have concerns about breastfeeding or are experiencing pain then speak to your midwife, health visitor, doctor or a breastfeeding advisor as they will be bale to give you pointers and support you.
My Experiences of Breastfeeding
As I have now breastfed three babies I have mixed experiences of breastfeeding. With my first baby I had some problems with latching on and because I did not seek help I ended up with mastitis, an infection of the breasts and nipples, that needed treatment wit antibiotics. My experience of breastfeeding with my second baby was completely different. The baby latched on straight away, feeding was completely pain free and I had no problems. All in all it was a complete breeze. When I had my third baby, there were no problems at first. Then my baby got thrush in his mouth. Not only did this pass through my baby’s digestive system giving the baby thrush in the nappy region, it also passed on to my nipples. This made breastfeeding extremely painful but I persevered while we were treated. The baby needed oral medication and a cream and I also had an anti-fungal cream for my nipples.
Diet While Breastfeeding
Even though I know it is hard to find time to eat properly when you are a busy new mum, it is important to make sure you have a healthy, balanced diet. I tried to make time to make sure I ate three meals a day and ate healthy snacks if I was hungry. I also made sure that I drank plenty of water to encourage my milk supply and stay hydrated. What you do not eat is almost as important as what you do eat when you are a breastfeeding mum. I tried to think of it as though I was still pregnant and thus avoided harmful things like drinking alcohol.