My top 10 breastfeeding tips

Next week, not only do I celebrate 6 whole months of being Mama to Noah – but also 6 whole months of breastfeeding – give or take a couple of days in the beginning.

I’m always a little bit hesitant to write about breastfeeding because mothers who don’t or didn’t breastfeed often seem to take positive breastfeeding blogs as a personal attack on formula feeding.

But I think anyone that knows me and this blog knows that I would never and have never taken that stance – in fact Noah started his life on formula when I couldn’t feed him – so I am eternally grateful that it exists!

But – I also get a lot of people contacting me for advice when I write about breastfeeding – so I thought I’d write down MY top 10 tips.

Obviously, I am not an expert or a health professional – but these are the things that helped ME and US – on what started out as a very rocky feeding journey.  I do hope that they may be of use to you, or someone you know;

 

top 10 breastfeeding tips

 

1) Get comfortable – If you are struggling with feeding – DON’T try and balance yourself on an uncomfortable chair!  Sandwich yourself into the sofa with as many cushions / pillows / props that you need!  To this day I still struggle to feed Noah unless he’s balanced on a pillow.  In the early days I also found feeding in bed so tricky, as my stitches and tummy hurt, so I did all the night feeds back on the sofa.  You’ll soon find a position that’s best for you.

2) Talking of positions – Try them all – The traditional ‘cradle hold’ may not be the easiest way to get your baby to latch well.  At times I fed Noah in the rugby hold (under the arm with their legs around your back).  When I was struggling with latch and his reflux I also fed him ‘uphill’ – so he was face on and literally dangling between my legs!  This one really helped when he was ‘clicking’ and not attaching on one side properly.

3) Eat and drink LOADS – To this day I need to eat and drink loads for breastfeeding, even more than I did in pregnancy.  You need to remember that your body is trying to feed another human being – so neglecting yourself is just not good.  In the very early days it’s a struggle to find time to make food – so get others to help out.  Your parents / partner / friends.  Even if it’s just a sandwich and a banana, it all helps and you’ll have more energy.  Drink a tonne of water too.  I still get absurdly thirsty every time I feed.  I’m sure feeding is a great excuse for cake and chocolate too! (ok, probably not but at 6 months I’m still using it!)

4) Oats, oats, oats – On the subject of food – oats are AMAZING for breastmilk and your supply.  I felt like I struggled with low supply at times.  I then read that oats were the best food for milk production and I have to agree.  Most days I have a big bowl of porridge for breakfast, and I’ve really noticed it makes a huge difference.  Flapjacks are good too.

5) The ‘Flipple’ technique – Ok this is a weird one, but it works.  If you’re struggling with latching and your baby just isn’t opening their mouth wide enough – try the flipple technique.  I really can’t explain it in words – so here is a video – it’s brilliant!

 

 

 

6) Support – Breastfeeding can be HARD.  Bloody, bloody hard.  Support is key.  Explain to people around you how important it is that you feel supported in your feeding journey.  My Mum was very helpful as she had fed five babies and was also a trained NCT counsellor.  But she wasn’t there in the middle of the night when I was crying with bleeding nipples.  I couldn’t have got through it without Jay, my partner.  I know at times he felt helpless and wanted to give formula (to ease my pain and anxiety).  But I explained that rather than going straight for the formula I just needed lots of support, encouragement and CUDDLES when it was tough.  It definitely helps to have people on your side.  Local breastfeeding cafés, NCT support groups and lactation consultants are also good if you’re struggling.  I paid a LC to come to our home one day – and it was the best £60 I’ve ever spent.

7) Lanolin cream – Whack it on those nipples – you can’t have enough of the stuff!

8) A breastfeeding cover – Now I am ALL FOR getting those boobies out wherever, whenever.  If someone has an issue – it’s their problem, not yours. And you can legally feed anywhere.  BUT not everyone feels comfy showing boobs in public – I don’t really.  Especially as Noah was a bad latcher, and now is just a nosey parker!  Rather than grappling with a muslin that always falls off – I have found my cover invaluable. Noah always falls asleep under it too which means I have a few minutes to enjoy a hot coffee!  Mine was from Mothercare but there are a load on Amazon too.

9) Nipple shields – Shields are controversial because they can reduce milk transfer and cause other issues, but for me personally – I wouldn’t have been able to feed at all without them.  Noah simply didn’t want to latch.  We had to learn together – slowly.  I managed to wean him off them at 8 weeks and all is good.  I used the Medela ones and found them to be brilliant.

10) Confidence – I truly believe that a big part of cracking breastfeeding is confidence and belief in yourself. It can be the hardest thing in the world.  I lacked confidence and genuinely felt rubbish and like a failure when it didn’t work.  But as my confidence grew, so did our breastfeeding journey.  It isn’t for everyone, I totally get that.  But if YOU want to breastfeed – just know that you probably can do it – with the right help, advice and support!

 

Here are some links to some great resources and help:

 

The KellyMom website – this woman knows EVERYTHING about feeding

La Leche League

 

Pressure to be perfect …

I’ve always been a perfectionist – it’s a curse.

Not with stuff like my carpet being fluff free and my bedspread being at perfect angles (I am actually quite messy) – but perfect in ‘myself’.

As a child and teenager I was always desperate to get ‘perfect’ marks at school.  ‘B’ wasn’t good enough, nor was ‘A’ – I wanted ‘A*’.

I was the same with my degree and the curse followed me into my jobs.

I never felt like I was good enough on the radio and would internally beat myself up every time we were forced to sit through ‘listen back’ sessions which I hated (by the way you NEVER get used to the sound of your own voice)!

I think my urges to be ‘perfect’ come from being the oldest of five children.  It’s hard to get noticed when there is five of you – especially when the rest are naughty boys.  I tried the rebellious route for a short time as a teen but soon concluded that I got more attention from my parents by achieving – so achieve I did.  Even today I still regularly seek their approval.

But the desire and drive to be perfect is even greater now I am a mum – and it doesn’t just come from within – it comes from the world all around us.  A constant bombardment of images of picture perfect mums who do IT ALL.

I feel constantly under pressure;

To give Noah the perfect childhood.

To make sure he has perfect food.

To achieve the perfect balance of play / cuddles / sleep / feeds in a day.

To still earn my own money but make sure I am still there for him on a daily basis.

To have perfect nails / hair / clothes / post baby body.

To be the perfect partner to Jay. (Think he’d laugh at the idea of me being perfect!)

But the trouble is it’s basically f**kin impossible.

As I type the dinner is in the oven (not lovingly homemade may I add) the dishwasher is half emptied, the baby is stirring in his cot and I have a pounding headache.

Everything is half done.

I’ve half done my work today….

I started cleaning a bathroom then didn’t have time to finish it ….

I thought about paying my car tax but then got distracted …

I’m guessing this is the reality of Motherhood?!

I need to put down bloody Instagram with it’s perfect mothers and stop reading tweets from women who appear to magically and perfectly balance EVERYTHING (three babies, a booming business and a banging body) and just give in don’t I?

Phew – trying to be perfect is quite frankly exhausting.

Now where’s the remote and the oven chips?!

x

 

pressure to be perfect diptic

 

The difference a year makes …

difference a year makes diptic

Yesterday I was sorting through old pictures on my computer and  I came across one from exactly a year ago to the day. From my calculations I must have been 7/8 weeks pregnant with Noah (seriously HOW big was my tummy so early on?!) Seeing the photo with my tummy covered in injection bruises brought […]

[Continue reading...]

Mummy – you’re doing a great job

mummy great job diptic

As a new mum I have a lot of conversations with other mums – new mums like me and those with older children.  But it doesn’t matter how old the children are – there is always one common theme – guilt.  And a sense of not doing things ‘right’. It makes me a bit sad […]

[Continue reading...]

10 reasons my baby is like a teenager

baby like a teenager diptic

    Reason number 1: He has absolutely NO consideration for personal hygiene.  Today he did a poo that went up to his shoulders.  His actual shoulders. Reason number 2: His room is a mess.  Toys, books, clothes everywhere.  I keep telling him it’s his job to keep it clean and tidy.  Clearly not listening […]

[Continue reading...]

Feeling nostalgic

james charlie matt

I’ve had an attack of nostalgia this week. I’ve been dreaming about university a lot. Which is weird. I graduated 11 whole years ago this summer (giving my age away now) and I have no apparent reason to start dreaming about it now! But the feelings of missing the place have been so strong that […]

[Continue reading...]

Joining up with Bloglovin!

Hi Blogging friends Finally getting around to doing this! (I know, Im a bit behind) Follow me and I’ll follow back :) Follow my blog with Bloglovin

[Continue reading...]

Baby Friendly Days Out – Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

Welcome to my new little project – baby friendly days out. I figured I like days out, and my days out now need to be baby friendly, so let’s blog about them! I’m proud to say that my first baby friendly day out review is of one of my absolute favourite places in Kent – […]

[Continue reading...]

Diary of a tired mummy …

wpid-wp-1435053009932.jpeg

7pm – Start feeding baby in the dark.  Thank God for smartphones.  What did people do during darkened feeds back in the days of the Nokias? Snakes? 7.30pm – Pray to myself that baby continues his amazing run of only one night wake up as per the previous week.  Chastise self for praying about such […]

[Continue reading...]

20 weeks old

noah 20 weeks 1

My intention was to do one of these every month – but it seems I totally missed out 16 weeks! So here we are and I can’t quite believe it – Noah is 20 weeks old. I know ALL parents say this, and it’s a bit of a cliché but really, WHERE DOES THE TIME […]

[Continue reading...]
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,549 other followers