‘Whilst production of breast milk is a natural process that occurs once a women has had a baby, breastfeeding doesn’t always happen so naturally. There are many factors that lead to challenges with breastfeeding you baby.
Let’s look at mum’s…
Life has changed for mum’s in modern day parenting! Many mum’s have moved away from their own mum’s and family members, and have limited support when baby is born.
Many women have thriving careers before having a baby and find the transition to being mum really challenging – many experience the mummy juggle.
Some have partners who are FIFO and they dole parent for a large proportion of the time.
There are older mum’s than before, advancement of medicine enables babies to be conceived through IVF, obesity is on the rise…
And…medical intervention with childbirth can all cause breastfeeding challenges.
Let’s look at babies….
Some babies just get it! They know how to breastfeed from the minute they are born, they find the breast and are champion feeders!
Others…well, not so much! Many babies are born earlier than “full term”, born by Caesarean Section, have received medicine through the placenta in labour, are born to mum’s with diabetes or other medical issues, have a tongue tie, or do just not quite know what to do!
Whatever your situation, there are some basic rules that will give you and your baby the best start to breastfeeding!
Top Breastfeeding Tips
Have as much skin to skin as possibly in the first few days; this promotes bonding, calmness and baby knows your smell!
Baby can feed within the first couple of hours after being born: babies are generally alert after birth and will search for the breast. An early first feed promotes healthy blood sugars for the baby.
Express If baby has not breastfeed within first 4 hours of being born; it’s important to stimulate your breasts within the first few hours to initiate lactation hormones.
Regular stimulation of the breast vital to milk production; regular feeding/expressing encourages more milk production.
Minimal handling of baby by family and friends; babies are easily over stimulated. Skin to skin and a calm environment is important.
Give baby unrestricted access to the breast; let baby have access to demand feed.
Seek support from an IBCLC if you are having any breastfeeding issues within the first few days; getting off to a good start is essential to enjoy breastfeeding!
An IBCLC will work with you to identify the feeding issues and will devise an individualized feeding plan that is realistic for you and your baby.
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What is good breastfeeding attachment?
Some indicators of good attachment are:
- NO PAIN!
- Baby will have full cheeks
- Top lip neutral/flanged
- Bottom lip flanged
- Stable lips
- A good seal/vacuum
- Relaxed at the breast
- Rhythmic sucking
- Audible swallowing
- Baby is satisfied after a feed
- Baby is gaining weight
- Baby has good urinary output
Signs you might need extra support
There are many reasons why you may seek the support of an IBCLC, If you experience any of the following:
You are experiencing nipple pain, trauma, nipples are misshapen after feeding your baby
You have blocked ducts/engorgement/mastitis
You are worried you may have low supply/baby is unsettled/fussy/falling asleep at the breast/ taking a long time to feed but doesn’t appear satisfied after feeding
You feel alone/isolated or need support to increase your confidence.
Breastfeeding can be challenging but these challenges can be overcome!
It just takes the right support, and as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) I am here to help you. Learn more here.