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 mums…
Life has changed for mums in modern day parenting! Many mums have moved away from their own mums 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 mums 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 mums 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
(Give a sentence or two under each of these tips either explaining the benefits, importance or providing a little bit more advice)
Have as much skin to skin as possibly in the first few days
Baby can feed within the first couple of hours after being born
Express If baby has not breastfeed within first 4 hours of being born
Regular stimulation of the breast vital to milk production
Minimal handling of baby by family and friends
Give baby unrestricted access to the breast
Seek support from an IBCLC if you are having any breastfeeding issues within the first few days.
An IBCLC will work with you to identify the feeding issues and will devise an individualised 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
(Make this a bit more conversational style rather than a list)
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.