8 ways to breastfeeding
If there was a playbook for breastfeeding, it would start with these solutions
While your milk is being drained, so too is the rest of your body. Keeping hydrated is important for staying alert (or, in most cases, awake) and to lactate. Keep a full bottle of water next to your breastfeeding space and aim to drink at least one cup while your little one feeds.
While you're out and about chances are you'll often find yourself on display while feeding in some awkward public settings. If this doesn't bother you - power on! But if it fills you with a sense of dread, there are some amazing cover ups. Those with rounded wire tops allow you to keep an eye on baby, and you can feed without being bothered by a piece of material whipping round in the wind.
During breastfeeding, you (and baby's) comfort is super important. It helps to have a cushioned chair that reclines or a rocking chair that can be transported around the house, for those all-hour feeds. Your back should be supported and baby should be able to stretch out across your body.
Baby brain is real. Make life easier for yourself and download a breastfeeding app. Yes, there's an app for that! It will remind you when to breastfeed, which boob to use and even let you know how that medication could affect your baby, among many other things. There are plenty to choose from and a lot of them are free.
Pump it up
Pumping every morning in the early days will help you to produce more milk. Earlier in the day is better because that's when your breasts are most likely to be full. Pumping is also a great way to avoid mastitis, which occurs when there's a build up of milk and your ducts become blocked. Ouch! Store pumped milk in the freezer for nights when baby needs a top up. Be sure to date it, as it's best to only keep breast milk in the freezer for up to six months.
Protect your assets
Your little angel might not have teeth yet, but that doesn't mean they wont gnaw the heck out of your nipples. This is where a nipple shield can provide relief. They are also great if you have a fast letdown, or if your baby has a strong gag reflex, as they can slow the flow. Lanolin cream or balm will soothe cracked nipples. You can find nipple cream and shields at any good department or baby store.
Breastfeeding isn't easy for a lot of us, but it does get better. Try to stick it out during those first few challenging weeks. Once you get into a groove with bubba, you can rest a little easier, and stressing less that will help that mil flow! However if you do find that it's a bit too tricky, there are plenty of lactaction services to help.
For free advice, click here to visit BreastfeedingNZ's Facebook page.
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