Breastfeeding can be a scary and controversial topic for many mums. And yes it’s true, at times breastfeeding can seem like an uphill struggle, but the benefits of feeding your baby breast milk will make all the frustration worthwhile! As they grow they’ll have a stronger immune system than non-breastfed babies. Breastfeeding is also good for mum as it can reduce your stress levels and the possibility of postpartum depression or ‘the baby blues’.
Our dos and don’ts of breastfeeding offers advice on what we feel will make breastfeeding a comfortable and successful experience for you and your baby.
- DO teach your baby to breastfeed fully and not simply nipple feed. What we mean by this is to hold your breast into a stable position and allow the baby to take not only the nipple but the breast as deeply as feels comfortable, by turning it into a pointy shape. This way it is more comfortable for you and easier for your baby to feed.
- DO feed on-demand in those early months when your baby is hungry all the time, instead of making a nursing schedule. During the early stages you’re baby doesn’t have any concept of time so a feeding schedule would be pointless to try to stick to. As your baby gets to around 3-4 months, introduce a feeding regime as they will be more likely to take it on board.
- DO learn the simple Rapid Arm Movement or ‘RAM’ technique. This is done by; moving your arms forward with the baby on it towards the breast instead of leaning forward and gently put it in the baby’s mouth.
- DO invest in a high quality breast-pump. If you’re really struggling with breastfeeding or even if you aren’t, a breast-pump can take away some of the stress and improve your experience. They can help to increase the milk flow if your supply is low and also try to pump milk after every feeding session.
- DO buy good-quality nursing bras, they will go a long way in ensuring your breasts remain in good form and prevent your body from aching. Breastfeeding and the excess milk can make your breasts extremely sore, a good nursing bra can ease the discomfort and provide support.
- DON'T try to compress your breast into your baby’s mouth, you won’t get a good reception from your baby and it will make the breastfeeding process harder. Instead hold them appropriate to the position you want and it should be your baby coming to the nipple.
- DON'T let your baby sleep through a regular nursing schedule. As your baby reaches 3-4 months, if you have a routine in place wake them up to keep it going, although you might regret this when you have a tried and grumpy little one!
- DON'T switch breasts before you have exhausted the entire milk content in the breast you’re using first. It is better to switch nursing breasts only when you have used all the supply from the first one. To remember which breast you used, try putting a coloured bobble or elastic band on the matching wrist.
4. DON'T give up, persist and it will pay off! Breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally to everyone so don’t be put off if you find it difficult, you won’t be the only one!
Looking for more advice as a Mum? See Wellness Checklist for Mums with Bubs
Go to our Mum and Baby section to find food safety tips for your baby, baby nutritional information and keeping mum healthy.