Five useful things I learnt about Breastfeeding.
The only things I really researched whilst pregnant were about birth and breastfeeding, so I knew as much as I could about both. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have known anything really as the support I was given by health professionals on these subjects was pretty minimal. Although, I will say the lactation consultant who came before Monkey was born was great at describing how breastfeeding works. However, there is only so much you can understand without having the baby there in front of you and before she arrived I was worried as so many friends had struggled to breastfeed.
I started writing this and discovered I had a lot to say – breastfeeding is something I’ve become really passionate about so to sum up –
The first few days of breastfeeding will hurt as your nipples get used to having a human vacuum attached to them. If it continues more than a week or so then it’s likely there’s a latch issue – speak to someone about it and get it sorted!
- Your baby’s stomach only holds 5ml of liquid, rising to 60ml by the end of the first week, they don’t need much, they just need to feed on demand. That will ensure baby is getting “enough” and that your boobs will get used to how much they need
- Listen out for them swallowing, look at what Dr Jack Newman says (as he’s like a super lactation expert!) as baby should do something like “suck suck swallow” as colostrum is really thick,. You’ll notice the change when your milk comes in as they will swallow more often. (I still find watching Monkey feed fascinating!)
- Mastitis is awful but unfortunately blocked ducts are likely. Make sure you stay hydrated as you can’t feed effectively if you haven’t got enough liquids in yourself! If you do get mastitis then keep feeding, try different feeding positions to make sure the blocked duct is being drained and warm flannels for massage, oh and rest! Also of course if it doesn’t go away then make sure you get help!
- Keep at it, it will be hard, but it does get easier, and if you stick at it then you have the freedom of being able to go anywhere always knowing you can easily feed baby at any time. In over nine months of feeding Monkey I’ve fed in some random places, a charity shop changing room being one of them, multiple car parks, at the road side, whilst walking along with her in the carrier to name a few….I’ve never once had anyone have an issue with it! I was quite nervous but once I’d got my boobs out in public a few times I forgot to worry anymore – why should babies have to be hidden when they eat?
There will be more posts about breastfeeding, I just wanted to get a few things out that I wish someone would have said to me to help prepare me! Breastmilk is amazing, so if you can, keep on boobing!