A week or so ago was world breast feeding week. As usual I’v come late to the party but I wanted to do a Breastfeeding 101 post. This advice is what works for me and is probably different to what a medical professional would tell you. It is my advice, take it or leave and do what you feel is right, you will always know best!
So here are my tips:
*Educate yourself as much as possible on breastfeeding. Understand the benefits to both of you, what a good latch looks like, what you can and can’t eat while breastfeeding. (I eat pretty much everything, although I don’t drink a lot of caffeine, or eat anything raw. I have had rare steak though! I also try steer away from curry because Lily really doesnt sleep as well when I have had anything spicy.)
* Trust yourself and your baby. You KNOW how to do it! If you didn’t, humans would have died out years ago. Although it is not instictual, and certainly requires a lot of practice! Evolution is on your side.
*Drink 3l of water everyday. Jungle juice (2l water, 1l fruit juice, 30mls berry elixir, a sachet of rehidrate and ten drops of rescue remedy per glass) works really well because it quenches your thirst which is a constant companion for the first 6 months. I have never been so thirsty before or since and was never without a water bottle in that time. *
I found Sudacream worked very well for cracked nipples but it must be wiped off before baby drinks which isn’t ideal when you are so sleep deprived that you can’t remember your own name!
* The first 8 weeks or so , it might be 6 weeks, your breastmilk isn’t ‘established’. This means that you have to work on it and keep your supply up. The best way to do this is let baby suck. Lock the breastpump in a cupboard and seriously try not express. If you really need to then manually express just to relieve the fullness, or express after baby has drank. Most moms fall into the trap of wanting to know how much baby is getting, so they express. The numbers are not important, if baby is weeing and pooing, putting on weight and happy, then baby is fine. Trust yourself to be able to feed your baby!
* Have a basket next to your usual nursing place filled with a water bottle, TV remote or a book, your cell phone, and a spoeg doek. YOure likely to be there a while in the beginning. Lily would sometimes drink for an hour at a time – she still would if I let her! So get yourself comfy!
* Eat white chocolate and take your preggy vits, I can HEAR Kim rolling her eyes at me when I say this but I swear it does work.
* Try relax, take it easy and enjoy this time. I only started enjoying breastfeeding from about 6 months, I constantly wanted to stop and I even gave Lily formula a few times and got advice on how to wean her! ITs not easy, the best advice I got was to carry on until the end of the month. Once I got to the end of the month, I’d say it again. And now a year down the line and I’m happy to let Lily self wean. I dread stopping actually!
I hope this post will help new moms or second time around moms who want to give breastfeeding a bash. ITs ok to not want to, or not be able to, seriously. But if you do really want to, then work at it and dont allow yourself to give up!