Following a fabulous Bump Club chat, Sofie from Urban Hatch, shared her top tips for successful breastfeeding. Be sure to check out her Facebook Live session she did with Little Steps below – all about breastfeeding and bottle-feeding.
1. Breastmilk is natural but the process of getting it from breast to baby is a skill that needs to be learned.
2. Get as much help as you can from midwives whilst in the hospital and organize an experienced professional you trust to come to your house once or twice to help establish good habits and techniques.
3. Remember that your baby’s stomach is the size of a cherry on day 1, a walnut on day 3, an apricot by the end of week one and an egg by the end of week 2. Your baby will need to feed small amounts but often (also called breastfeeding on demand).
4. You produce colostrum (which contains lots of antibodies) first. This usually gets paired with a bit of hormonal madness also called the ‘Babyblues’. More info here on Baby Blues.
5. Feed your baby, but don’t forget to feed yourself. Aim to have 6 small meals a day instead of three big ones.
6. Include foods and herbs that help stabilize your blood sugar (greens, protein, nuts, fenugreek) and avoid or minimize foods that make your blood sugar spike and crash (refined sugars and processed carbs).
7. Squeeze out a few drops of colostrum or milk and rub them over the nipple - it will help to strengthen and reduce soreness.
8. Ease engorgement by using hot flannels before and after each feed. And pop white cabbage leaves on your breasts in between feeds.
9. Once comfortable with your new skill, you can introduce a bottle late at night - this may help towards establishing a ‘flexible’ routine and it will give your partner the opportunity to get involved and get more confident.
10. If breastfeeding for one reason or another does not work out for you, know that there are safe alternative options. In the end, it’s about finding a way that is safe and works for you as well as for your baby.