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10 Helpful Hints For Breastfeeding a Newborn

12 min read
10 Helpful Hints For Breastfeeding a Newborn

5. Express Yourself

Occasionally you might find yourself in a situation of breast engorgement, that is, your jugs are absolutely full to bursting and are in desperate need of being emptied. The time this happened to me it was 2 a.m. and my precious baby had (finally) decided to sleep through a couple of feeds. I was ecstatic that we might not be waking up so much at night then realised my breasts didn’t know that. There’s no way in hell I’d wake a sleeping baby, so while my angel slept soundly, I sat on the couch attached to a breast pump for half an hour!

It was nice to have a bit of milk in the freezer on hand and to also know that the pump worked for me. Being in the comfort of your own home with a breast pump on hand might not always be the situation, though. Memories of my darling friend cooped up in the ladies room at our wedding reception, squeezing milk into the sink trying to deflate her ever-increasing bust, made me learn how to hand-express! No, she didn’t stay on to dance with us, but went home to her mummy duties, getting baby to do the rest of the job for her. She really needed to, those puppies were about to explode!

Hand expressing (Marmet technique works a treat) is also very useful if you have a fast flow and your baby is having trouble keeping up with it and gets unsettled during feeds or is gulping like crazy. Carry a washcloth in your bag or pocket and squirt a little out first before attaching to help ease that initial intense flow. Expressing a little out into your baby’s mouth also helps with encouraging attachment!

4. Biological Nurturing

Otherwise known as ‘Laid Back Breastfeeding’, biological nurturing allows you to be in a reclined position to breastfeed, with your baby on top of you, therefore keeping total body and eye contact with your baby. Feeding in this position opens your body which promotes a huge amount of primitive early reflexes that act as breastfeeding stimulants. It’s so easy to do and it’s so quick to get sorted, you don’t have to line up yours and your baby’s body parts and there isn’t a ‘right way’ to do it. It’s a great way to hang out together, increasing skin to skin time, getting to know your little one in a nice, calm relaxed way.

 

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From the age of 3-6 months old, my firstborn, would only feed lying down. Everywhere we went I had a blanket and pillow in the back of the car in case I had to stop in a park and I mapped out every shopping trip in accordance as to who lived nearby so I could stop at to lay down and feed. It was exhausting and stressful. I thought we were coming to the end of our breastfeeding journey and I was heartbroken.

Cue a visit to our local Child Health Clinic, where a fabulous lactation consultant nurse lent me a DVD on Biological Nurturing, which she was not supposed to give out. Thank goodness she was a rule breaker. Everything changed. I wasn’t sideways all the time at friends houses anymore! I felt confident and brave. We gradually changed angles and before I knew it I was breastfeeding sitting in a normal armchair one day and my friend looked at us and said ‘Wow, look at you!’ She was proud and so was I. That breastfeeding journey lasted 3 years.

3. Comfort Sucking

Breastfeeding A Newborn | Stay At Home Mum

Babies love to suck for food and comfort. Always have, always will. In our day and age, we have pacifiers at the ready to give our nipples a break, which some babies will love while others will literally spit the dummy. I’m not going to choose sides here, each to their own, dummy or no. If you choose to use one, it’s probably best not to introduce it too early. Pacifiers are a different shape to a nipple, they need to be sucked differently and can cause confusion in a newborn with only their instincts to follow. Once breastfeeding is well established it’s up to you as your baby’s parent as to whether or not you try one out!

2. Got Milk? You Bet You Do!

You’ve got milk and it is great stuff! It’s full of nutrients, antibodies, immune boosters. A booby-full of all the easily digested ingredients that little babies need to survive and thrive.

It may be easy to get discouraged at the amount of time breastfeeding you do in the first weeks, considering how small a baby’s stomach is and how fast it empties, it’s normal to feed every couple of hours. It’s normal for a baby to have wind and cry about it. It’s normal for uninformed people to suggest there might be ‘something wrong’ with your milk or that you ‘don’t have enough’. It’s normal to reply ‘Rubbish’.

Apart from an underlying existing medical condition or premature birth, a new mother will have colostrum for 3-4 days then milk comes in and everyone settles down. For about an hour then it’s on again. Basically, the more you feed your baby, the more milk you make. Your milk is perfect for your baby and your body will take what it needs from you to make it that way.

Down the track supply problems can creep in, but for now, take heart that you have a real chance here.

1. Just Do It

Have a go. Be yourself. Enjoy this time. Relax. Ask for good help. Follow your heart.

Watch videos of women breastfeeding, don’t just read books, go to an ABA meeting to sit in, ask questions and observe! Those lovely ladies are a wealth of information and a wonderful support for parents in the community.

Trust your instincts.

Breastfeeding a Newborn | Stay At Home Mum

I’ll take a moment here to say, that not all mothers have an easy and continued breastfeeding journey. If you decide that breastfeeding isn’t for you for whatever reason of your own (not someone else’s) then that’s ok. You are still an amazing mother. What matters is that your baby is fed, whichever way you choose to do it and that they are warm, protected and loved.

Would You Agree?

About Author

Shelley Gilbert

A mum of two, full-on but super cute little boys, Shelley is completely addicted to gentle attachment parenting, loves baby-wearing, fills the role o...Read Moref jersey cow for her youngest child, inhales books about child brain development, is happily married to her partner of 13 years and gets amongst it with the 4 yr olds on kindy parent days. Having worked in all areas of pharmacy her favourite part is - you guessed it- helping people. She is a Cert III Dispense Technician, has a Diploma of Business Management and has clocked up a whole lot of life experience that is giving her a great edge for writing for Stay At Home Mum. Read Less

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