WHEN it comes to breastfeeding, somehow I lucked upon good babies, or good boobies – not sure which. However, as you’ll note by the title, I’m not giving you sure-fire tips to breastfeeding success. I’m also not going to beat you over the head with my fully loaded knockers about why you should breastfeed. Sometimes things just don’t happen that way, as Penny so wonderfully put in her post on Sshh, mummy’s on the phone this week.
So you won’t find any corny slogans like “mummy’s milk is better than any udder’s milk’’ and “silly Daddy, boobs are for babies’’. Instead, as part of World Breastfeeding Week, I thought I’d share some of the things I know about breastfeeding. What worked for me and how I managed to get through.
So, here’s what I know about breastfeeding:
- Get as much help as possible. I’m not ashamed to admit, with Ella, The Bloke in The Shed did much of the latching on. On my boobs, not his. For the first two days, he was responsible for the “midwives whack’’. Which brings me to the next point…
- There are lots of techniques, but for me it was the “midwives whack’’. Pretty much, tickle bubs cheek ‘til they open their mouth wide like a yawn, then quickly whack the babies head onto the boob, aiming for the roof of their mouth. (It sounds terrible, doesn’t it?).
- If bub doesn’t latch properly, don’t persevere with the feed. Take bub off, by breaking the suction with your little finger, and start again. Otherwise you’ll regret it. Yep, ouch.
- Relax. I know, yeah right. It is important though. My trick was to breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds and breathe out for four seconds. Do this a couple of times and you’ll start to feel your letdown happening. Alternatively, a hot drink can also do the trick. This can work for expressing milk too.
- Don’t do major physical exertion in those early weeks. After walking all the way to the shop and back, Ella screamed for the next six hours. Turns out, I’d over exerted my body and therefore the milk tankers were temporarily out of action.
- Use a pillow for greater comfort. Don’t listen to the midwife who snaps: “you can’t take a pillow out in public with you’’. Lucky I stay home then, isn’t it?
- Pethidine will play havoc with breastfeeding. Baby Holly was drowsy for “weeks’’ and therefore a lazy sucker. Umm, you know what I mean… I wish someone had told me this, because I would have had another all-natural birth. Obviously, this can’t always be avoided.
- If colic, ear infections or teething have bub wrestling with you, put them in a more sitting position to feed.
- Some foods may upset bub. It’s all trial and error. With Ella, it was tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower. Holly will drink it, regardless of what’s in it. She ain’t fussy.
- TRY and avoid caffeine – chocolate, coffee and tea. Or suffer the consequences. Some days, I’m happy to suffer the consequences.
- During developmental leaps (when baby goes feral – aka The Wonder Weeks), baby will be fussier when it comes to feeding. These are the times most women give up. Try, if you can, to get through it. It is only temporary.
- Go easy on yourself. It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t happen. Strangely, when your bub turns 18 and goes for their first job, one of the questions won’t be whether they liked boob or not.
I am not a breastfeeding expert, Just a mum with weapons of mass lactation. So please contact your local lactation consultant or the Australian Breastfeeding Association if you need assistance.
What are your breastfeeding tips? If breastfeeding didn’t happen for you, what was your experience like?
I’m linking up with Yay for Home as part of Things I Know.