Breast Feeding Tips
Exclusive breastfeeding until six months should be the aim for every infant.
Breastfeeding is the best start to your baby’s life.
Breastfeeding requires patience and lots of practice, it is something you and your baby learn, and it may take a little while for it to feel normal and natural.
- Get as much help as possible from midwives, health nurses, lactation consultants and other mums, you will be amazed at how these people can help, from getting the best attachment, helping with sore breasts and nipples and finding the best position for you and your baby.
- Find a comfortable place and position for you and baby to feed, with baby’s tummy facing your tummy. Use pillows and a stool to help support your baby and feel comfortable, feeding will be better for you and your baby this way.
- Establishing a good attachment with your baby latching on properly, allows your baby to feed easily, and prevents sore nipples – if you are having difficulty seek immediate help from your midwife, health nurse or lactation consultant.
- Eat a healthy diet, and eat regularly as you need more calories during breastfeeding than you did when you were pregnant.
- Try and relax, (I know it is easier said than done), but closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths can make the world of difference, once you have breast feeding established it will be something you will not only enjoy, but cherish and love.
The benefits of breastfeeding are truly worth it:
- Breast milk is packed with antibodies to protect baby against infection
- Breast milk is always available, the right temperature, sterile and free!
- Breast milk improves your baby’s brain development and visual activity.
- Breast milk helps prevent allergies.
Finding the perfect fit with a breast shield is so important, not only does it help with breast milk flow but also it helps prevent damaged nipples and more. A correctly fitting breastshield will avoid compression on the superficial milk ducts, allowing the milk to be transferred from the breast to the container completely and comfortably. This helps mothers to maintain their milk production and supports lactation.
A breastshield in the wrong size can result in reduced milk flow because blocked milk ducts or an inhibited milk ejection can cause a reduction of the milk output. Friction around nipple and/or areola can cause discomfort and trauma and may result in a mother being unable to pump regularly. The milk production is once again endangered. A nipple trauma can lead to tissue breakdown that increases the risk of an infection and mastitis.
Medela together with the university of Western Australia did some research on the Breast Anatomy and with their findings developed PersonalFit Breastshields, and they come in 5 different sizes.
Breastshields need to be the correct size for an individual mother.
With the following checklist, a mother can easily assess whether she is using the right breastshield size:
Centre the nipple in the tunnel of the breastshield. Now begin pumping and check the following points:
- Is your nipple moving freely in the tunnel?
- Is none or only very little tissue of the areola being pulled into the tunnel of the breastshield?
- Do you recognize gentle, rhythmic movements in the breast at each pump cycle?
- Do you feel the breast emptying all over?
- Is your nipple free of pain?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “No”, select a bigger (or smaller) breastshield.
Finding the right fit:
The mother requires a different size if the breastshield: