I believe that a happy mother equals a happy baby no matter how she chooses to feed. I do however also believe that it’s important to keep raising awareness of breastfeeding for women who want to do it but don’t have the confidence. Only today I stumbled across a link to an article in a newspaper stating that more and more people believe breastfeeding is, wait for it, UN-NATURAL!
Then last night I read a Tweet by a middle aged man (old enough to know better) asking why it was never the ‘sexy and attractive women who breastfeed in public’. The replies (by women) adding to it that it was ‘disgusting’. It’s views like this that put a lot of women of breastfeeding their babies in public or at all and it really does make me so angry. How can people think it abnormal to feed your baby with the milk your body has made?
It just makes me so sad that the most natural thing in the world can be viewed as being the total opposite. All because of the sexualisation of the breast.
Anyway this is going to be a positive post so I won’t go into the negatives and will instead share with you my breastfeeding top tips.
This is my second time breastfeeding, I breastfed Cherry for 18 months (more on that later in the week) and because of that I had a better idea what to expect this time so here goes….
During pregnancy build up a good collection of scarves. They are amazing when breastfeeding. They are fab for covering up when feeding as they are so lightweight, they are useful for mopping up milk spillage if you don’t have a muslin to hand and I also use mine to put on J as a lightweight blanket as it smells of me so he likes it.
Stock up on lots of maternity bras. It is fairly normal to leak a lot in those first few months and there is nothing worse than discovering all your bras are crusty (they do actually go crusty when the milk dries). Even if you don’t leak that much, you will probably find that sometimes your let down will be a bit fast for your baby and they will end up dribbling milk out the opposite side of their mouth during feeds which drenches through your bra / vest / top.
Buy a mattress protector. If your baby misses a feed in the night then it is fairly likely that you will wake up soaked in milk. My old mattress had a massive stain from where this had happened when Cherry was a baby.
Practice and find a way you can successfully get your boob out before feeding in public for the first time. I usually unclip my bra from the top, have a vest on top that I lift my boob over the top of then have another top that I lift up. This means that my tummy is covered, the top of my boob is covered and I then use my scarf to cover anything else until I feel comfortable. There is only a split second that you would be able to see my nipple and even then you would have to be staring which no-one should be doing anyway if they don’t want to see anyone breastfeeding. Here is a fab video from Blog of A Mum who shows exactly how to do it this way - http://www.blogofamom.com/blog/2013/06/08/how-to-breastfeed-discreetly/
Always have a drink to hand. Every time J latches on I get hit by an extreme feeling of thirst and I am still useless at remembering to get a drink before I sit down!
Have lots of snacks around. I get dizzy and shaky if I don’t eat regularly and with a baby it can be hard to prepare meals on time so sometimes you need to grab something. Obviously the healthier the better but some of my favourites are breadsticks and Philadelphia or cereal bars / flapjacks (oats are good for milk supply).
Watch out for tight tops cutting off part of your boob. I have suffered with a few blocked ducts this time and they are horrible, luckily I caught them early so they never turned into full on mastitis but I know that I bring it on myself from wearing tops that are too tight or from J not feeding properly in the night. If you do notice your boob feeling bruised and painful then have a hot bath and massage all around the painful area. Take some paracetamol and something hot on it. Obviously if it keeps getting worse then go to the doctor. I went to see my GP and he gave me a homeopathic remedy which worked really well and meant I didn’t have to take anti-biotics.
Be prepared to sit around, a lot. It can be hard to get much done, especially during those first few weeks or when they are having a growth spurt. If it’s your first then enjoy the time. Read books or watch films, or start a blog! That’s what I did. Second time round if you have a young child already then make sure you have something to keep them entertained at the same time. I actually love the fact that when Mr C is home I can get out of doing jobs because I need to sit down on the sofa and feed J!
Stock up on breastpads. Whether you are using washable ones or disposable ones, you will need a lot!
Always have a tube of Lanisoh to hand. I have read some articles saying that it’s not actually that good for various reasons but I always found it helped me no end when my nipples were cracked. It can stay on while your baby is feeding and gives relief for a long time so it is a pretty essential product in those first few weeks.
What is your breastfeeding top tip?
If you would like to read more posts on breastfeeding this week then do check out the fab blogs below -