Breastfeeding is a daunting prospect for new mums, as well as being an amazingly emotional journey with high and lows throughout. For World Breastfeeding Week we have put together a few tips and tricks that we’ve picked up along the way, focusing on pre-birth and the first weeks of feeding.
Massage & Pumping
As this can actually stimulate labour itself, it’s recommended you don’t start trying this until you’re baby is ready to meet the world. Massage and pumping increase the blood flow to your breasts which should help your milk supply. Giving you a little head start before baby arrives.
Raspberry Leaf Tea has many benefits including boosting milk production and strengthening the uterus. It’s recommended for use from the 36 week mark.
Trying to reduce your sugar intake in the run up to the birth is hard - but sugar affects your insulin resistance which can affect milk supply. So trying to only eat natural sugars from fruits and low GI carbs in the last couple of weeks can make the difference. Plus, the extra vitamin boost will be so good for your body. Foods that are known to help develop and maintain a healthy milk supply include: chickpeas, sweet potatoes, spinach and oats.
Give it a try as soon as you can, skin-to-skin contact with your baby is key to developing a bond with you baby as this is how they get to know you. Learn you baby’s feeding cues, below are some of the more common cues to look out for:
Pressing their lips together
Sucking on fingers
Opening mouth and turning head
Don’t worry about getting them on a feeding schedule at the beginning, you’re both learning so feed them whenever you think they need it. This will help encourage a regular flow while keeping your baby well nourished, and well tempered.
Create Your Own Space
At home, designate an area as your ‘Breastfeeding Zone’ and keep everything you might need in a basket or container. In the early days it can be tricky to mobilise yourself while feeding so having everything nearby helps; whether it’s a spare phone charger, snacks & water, extra muslins or anything else you like to have with you whilst feeding.
Speaking of snacks...
You’re going to need 300-500 extra calories a day while you’re breastfeeding, so keep healthy snacks in your ‘breastfeeding zone’ and your changing bag. It’s good for you to have a snack just before feeding so you’re not starving and can happily feed your baby for as long as needed.
Once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll likely be feeding your baby when out and about. Keeping a cover up to hand makes finding the ideal spot for feeding a little easier. Our Breastfeeding Shawl is a great option and available in subtle & versatile colours (no garish prints). Designed to be worn not only as a nursing cover but also a scarf and poncho you won’t need to dig it out of your bag before feeding as it can be worn all day as a stylish addition to your outfit.