Baby Breastfeeding

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First trimester do's and don'ts
 

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is undoubtedly best, according to experts and lots of mums, too. Once you get the hang of it, it’s quick and convenient. But no baby is born knowing how to do it and you’re not expected to instinctively know, either. It can take time and patience and it’s common to experience problems – however, most problems can be overcome and the benefits breastfeeding brings to your baby make it worth persevering with.

This section covers all aspects of breastfeeding; from the basics of how to breastfeed to why breastmilk is so beneficial. It also looks at why your diet is important to your baby’s nutrition, along with the most common breastfeeding problems and solutions you might encounter as you and your baby get the hang of it.


  • 01
    How to breastfeed

    It’s widely accepted that breastmilk is best for your baby. However, breastfeeding doesn’t always come as naturally as some mums hope it will. It’s not something that you or your baby will instinctively know how to do.

    Don’t be disappointed if you find things difficult at first. With the correct technique and some practice, you’ll find that things get easier.

    Following these tips can help:

    • Sit comfortably in a supportive chair
    • Hold your baby close, facing towards your body, and try to keep their head, shoulders and body in a straight line.
    • Line up your baby’s nose with your nipple, then gently nudge their mouth with it
    • Once their mouth is wide open, wide, bring your baby up to your breast (not the other way round)
    • If your baby is latched on correctly their bottom lip will be curled back and the only visible area of your areola (the dark skin around your nipple) is above your baby’s top lip
    • Listen for the sound of them swallowing – a sign they’re taking milk in
    • If your baby puts their hands in the way, try wrapping or swaddling them so that their arms are kept at their sides. It’s natural for your baby to pause from time to time. If you’re finding feeding uncomfortable, try a supportive v-shaped pillow. Painful feeding could be caused by your baby not latching on properly – changing positions may help. Slip your finger between the nipple and their mouth to gently dislodge them and move them away from your breast and try to position them again.

    If you’re encountering any problems with breastfeeding or you’re worried your baby isn’t feeding as well as they should be, speak to your doctor. Most problems can be overcome and breastfeeding is worth persevering with.

  • 02
    The benefits of breastfeeding

    Breastmilk is one of Mother Nature’s most wonderful creations. It provides everything your baby needs, when your baby needs it, for healthy growth and development. As well as being a satisfying source of nourishment, your body responds to your baby’s needs by only ever producing as much or as little as is required.

    The act of breastfeeding itself encourages intimacy and makes your baby feel safe and warm and gives you both precious time to bond. It also burns around 500 calories a day, making it easier to shift your pregnancy weight. Keep reading to find out more about the numerous reasons why breast is considered best.

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  • 03
    The science of breastmilk

    Once you’ve mastered the technique, breastfeeding can seem like the most natural thing in the world. It’s what mothers are programmed to do and what babies instinctively expect when they’re born. However, the science behind that satisfying feed is anything but simple.

    LCPs (long chain polyunsaturated fats), nucleotides and prebiotic oligosaccharides are all beneficial ingredients found naturally in your breastmilk and will help support your baby from the inside. Read on to find out more.

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  • 04
    Healthy diet for breastfeeding

    Breastfed babies rely on their mother for all of their nutritional needs, so it’s crucial that breastfeeding mums look after themselves. Taking the time to eat healthily, staying well hydrated and choosing healthy foods that will supply a range of vitamins and minerals to both you and your baby, are all important.

    Because breastfeeding uses up calories, you may need to eat a little more than usual every day. This article is about what sort of foods you should be eating to give your baby the support they need.

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  • 05
    How often to breastfeed

    During the first few weeks you’re advised to feed your baby on demand rather than try to introduce a feeding routine. Your baby is your best guide – they’ll let you know how much they need. Try to pay attention to your baby rather than the clock when feeding and you may soon begin to notice a pattern emerging.

    However, it’s worth remembering that any pattern may prove short-lived. As your baby goes through varying growth spurts, their appetite and consequently their feeding habits, will change. But the more you feed, the more milk you’ll produce, and you’ll find your body automatically works on a supply-and-demand basis adapting to their needs.

    Frequent feeding

    It’s normal for newborn babies to need frequent feeds every two to three hours, in the early days it may be even more often. Breastmilk is very easily digested and their stomachs are quite small, so little and often is best. Night feeds, especially in the early weeks, are important as they are essential for your baby’s nutritional requirements and for maintaining your milk supply. The trick to getting through this period is to nap when your baby naps; you need plenty of rest to keep your breastmilk supply coming. If there are chores to be done, get someone to help or simply ignore them – what you’re doing for your baby is more important.

    A good sign your baby is getting enough milk is if they’re alert and full of energy.

  • 06
    Common Breastfeeding Problems

    Learning to breastfeed may be easy for some women, but for many it takes a while to get it right as you are both learning how to feed. Sore nipples, engorged or leaking breasts and mastitis can make things more difficult. And if you’re new to breastfeeding, you may worry about just how much your baby is actually drinking.

    Read on to find out more about how to deal with some of the most common feeding problems and worries that new mothers encounter during those early stages.

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  • 07
    Is my baby getting enough milk?

    It can be difficult to tell how much milk your baby is drinking when you’re breastfeeding. Their appetite will undoubtedly change as they develop, and during their growth spurts their calorie requirement will naturally increase. Breastmilk doesn’t come with a handy measuring cup, so it’s better to look for general signs of good health – that way you’ll know your baby is feeding well.

    Read on to find out how to recognise the signs that your baby has had enough; from the physical signs of lighter, less full-feeling breasts to a healthy looking baby who produces lots of full nappies.

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  • 08
    Stimulating your breastfeeding milk supply

    Your body is naturally programmed to provide just the right amount of nourishment that your baby needs. But occasionally you might find that for whatever reason your breasts are not producing quite enough milk.

    Whether, your baby’s having a growth spurt or you’re starting a new feeding routine, breast massage is an easy way to stimulate and increase your milk supply. Our guide introduces three simple steps that you can use to help you give your baby a healthy serving at every feed.

  • 09
    Guide to expressing and storing breastmilk

    If you are returning to work or will be away from your baby during breastfeeds, expressing your milk means you can continue to give them all the benefits of breastmilk when you’re not around. It also allows your partner or other family members to give you a hand in feeding your baby.

    We have included the three main methods of expressing milk in our downloadable guide. There is a brief introduction to each method, as well as important guidance on storing your expressed milk to help you keep it safe and free from bacteria. Expressing can take a little while to get used to; the key is take your time and try to stay relaxed.

If you have a question that needs answering, please get in touch.

If there’s anything you’re unsure about, we’re here to point you in the right direction!