Breastfeeding Tips

Breastfeeding help for new parents. If in doubt, please speak to your LMC, midwife, doctor, or Lactation Consultant.

Before Baby Prep

Read one or two good breastfeeding books or breastfeeding videos.

Attend a seminar on breastfeeding, or antental classes which give advice on breastfeeding.

You will need to buy plenty of quality breast pads, hand towels or flannels for spills and squirts, a good breastfeeding bra fitted late in pregnancy, and a breastfeeding pillow.

Nipple cream is also suggested in case of cracked or grazed nipples which can occur in the early days.

Breastfeeding singlets or nursing tops are also a good way to maintain discretion and help to breastfeed discretely.

You will need to use a chair that supports you and the baby while you are feeding. The legs of the chair should not be too high off the ground, and the chair arms need to be quite low to allow you to hold the baby and be comfortable while feeding. Your feet should sit flat on the floor while feeding.

Hospital Time

if you have a hospital birth, stay as long as you can! So many mothers wish they had done this, and that they had insisted on a midwife or their own LMC supervising and encouraging them during the early feeds.

Go to the breastfeeding room and watch videos on latching. You will gain a greater understanding of what they are demonstrating now that you have a hungry baby who wants to feed many times a day.

Be realistic in your expectations of yourself and your new baby. Every baby is different.

Focus on getting the latching of your baby right. Nipple damage can happen very quickly. If you feel pain during latching – stop! Gently break baby’s grip on your nipple and carefully disengage the baby. try again until it feels right.

Coming Home

Expect your baby to feed frequently on the breast for many weeks, you are going to be in quite a feeding routine. Keep your baby awake during feeding. Listen for the baby’s feeding sounds – suck suck swallow. Aim for your baby to empty one breast at a feed in the early days, especially if you have a lot of milk.

Feed your baby from one breast, then when they have finished burp and change baby’s nappy. Then offer the second breast. This is the breast that you will offer to baby first for the next feed. Keep track of which breast you are next due to feed from.

Limit visitors while you and your baby get breastfeeding established. Listen to the expert who is guiding you with feeding, and try not to take too much notice of all the advice well-meaning friends are keen to offer you. Their advice is from their own experience of breastfeeding, which is probably quite different to yours, and they may just confuse you.

Have breakfast early in the morning, and make sure you eat plenty of food during the day. Mothers get busy, so make sure you eat and don’t get side tracked. Ensure you drink plenty of water as this helps breastmilk production, drink a glass of water every time you feed baby. Have protein in every meal.

Get help if breastfeeding is not working for you. Your LMC should be able to guide you. If not, phone aPlunket Family Centre to arrange to see a lactation consultant. Phone Plunket Line 0800 933 922. Don’t leave it and wait – the earlier you get help the better the outcome for you and baby.