It’s World Breastfeeding Week so what better time to talk about something that can be a huge challenge to many mums. So many of us try, and struggle, to breastfeed, so we’re bringing you some top tips from experts which might help. If you’re struggling to breastfeed, this advice should help…
Sore nipples are not part-and-parcel of breastfeeding “Breastfeeding should not hurt,” says Clare Byam-Cook, author of Top Tips For Breastfeeding.
“If it does, this is an indication that your baby is latched on badly. This will make his sucking less effective so he will find it harder to get enough milk, which may result in him being hungry and unsettled – even after long feeds. Try to find a midwife or feeding counsellor who can show you how to improve your latch.” Listen to whether your baby is latched on properly “Your baby’s tongue should be down when he’s feeding and a clicking sound indicates it’s up and he’s not latched on properly,” says Tess Randall, maternity nanny at childcare agency Tinies.
“There should also be a rhythm to his feeding – suck, suck, suck, swallow, which you should be able to hear.” If your baby can’t latch on, give him a helping hand “If your baby is not opening his mouth wide and/or you have very large breasts, you can help him latch on by using the balls of your fingers to squeeze your breasts gently on either side of the areola,” says Clare Byam-Cook.
“This should make your nipple protrude and make latching easier.” Stay calm and eat regularly “Stress can contribute to suppressing the hormone oxytocin, which governs your milk flow – hunger and tiredness can cause stress, so it’s important to eat regularly throughout the day,’ says Elena Cimelli, author of The Contented Calf Cookbook: Nourishing Recipes for Breastfeeding Mums.
‘Stock up on healthy snacks – apricots and almonds are both great for milk production.” Don’t be afraid to use breastfeeding aids… “Nipple shields are there to help you if you are suffering from sore nipples or latching problems,” says Clare Byam-Coom. “You can use a breast pump to express milk so that others can help with feeding – many Dads enjoy giving the last feed of the day with a bottle, while you benefit from an early night.” ….or things that will boost your milk supply “Fenugreek and fennel tea are both thought to help boost your milk supply if you’re worried your body isn’t producing enough,’ says Tess.Randall.
“Also express every day after feeds to help stimulate your breasts and indicate that they need to make more milk.” If your baby won’t latch on, check for tongue tie “Tongue tie can cause feeding issues in both breast and bottle fed babies and being treated can make feeding much happier and easier for everyone,” says Lisa, maternity nurse and founder of The Blissful Baby Expert. “Having a TT corrected can make a huge difference to the way a baby feeds-particularly in breastfed babies, and can sometimes make the vital difference in allowing mum to persevere with breast-feeding without major pain or feeding issue.”
Most of all though, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t manage to breastfeed. A happy, well fed baby and a happy mum is the most important thing. And don’t forget to stock up on Love Boo Magic Balm to soothe those nipples in the early breastfeeding days!