Hi everyone and Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
It has taken me a lot longer than I had planned to get this post written and posted, but here it is.
Because today is the last day of National Breastfeeding Week I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks on breastfeeding.
Those of you who have been a subscriber for a while will already have seen that I have posted a blogpost about breastfeeding before and it really has some useful information in it so if you haven’t already then I recommend you go give it a quick read by clicking on this link https://wanderlusthop.com/2019/05/14/breastfeeding-tips-essentials/
This is now my second time breastfeeding and so I thought it was time to add some little tips and tricks that I have picked up over the time.
I breastfed my first born for 21 months and now with my second we are up to three months and will hopefully continue for as long as we can.
With my first born I was super lucky that he took to my boob like a professional. It truly felt like I didn’t do much when it came to breastfeeding Hamza. As soon as he was born they placed him on my chest and he tried to latch almost instantly.
Once he got the hang of it he was a great feeder from day one. My milk supply was also much stronger with him and so he had A LOT of milk all to himself.
Now with Hannah the story is a bit different, once she was born they once again placed her on my chest but she wasn’t interested in the boob at all.
Now of course I am not blaming the nurses, but they never said anything to me about making sure we had skin to skin even after we were transferred to postpartum, and so it kind of just slipped my mind, plus she was and still is a super lazy baby. She much prefers to sleep than feed and so I just let her sleep and because of that she lost that initial connection with me that is made between Mother and baby when they first come into this life.
The first two nights in hospital she would not latch.
Her mouth kept sliding off the nipple and although she wanted to feed she just couldn’t latch and so I had to express my milk into a syringe and feed her with that. Thankfully my milk supply was strong initially and so we had no issues expressing but looking back now I feel a bit sad that we missed out on that initial connection together.
The nurses were a little concerned as to why we couldn’t establish a strong latch and so they brought in a lactation consultant to speak to me and she also couldn’t understand why there was a problem when it was our second baby and we had successfully breastfed our first born for almost two years.
She asked me whether we had a lot of skin to skin and when I said no she immediately told me to take off my shirt and just lay with Hannah on the bed and to follow her lead. Within fifteen minutes of the lactation consultant leaving, Hannah latched and it was truly the most relieving thing.
My husband and I were so emotional as we were beginning to feel really concerned about her feeding and what it would mean going forward.
Moral of the story … make sure you have as much skin to skin with your baby.
Even once you are discharged from the hospital continue to do it.
We gave birth to Hannah during winter here in Australia and so I was concerned about her being cold during skin to skin but our bodies keep them warm and you can always just place a warm blanket over them once they are on your chest.
After breastfeeding Hamza I found that my favorite breastfeeding position is lying down with my baby by my side. Not only do I get to lie down and have a rest, ( super important when you have a crazy toddler running around all the time ), but it also means that if they end up falling asleep then you can easily transfer them to the cot already sleeping!
I found that after feeding Hannah for a few months I started to get a sore neck as I was constantly bending my head down to look at her and it got so painful that there was a few days where I couldn’t turn my neck at all and so breastfeeding lying down really saved me.
If you find that your boobs start to become really full even after feeding then be sure to pump the rest out and store it in bottles for later feeds, ( my husband was always happy to feed her with bottles ), or transfer them to freezer bags and store them lying down to save space.
Be sure to write not only the date and quantity but the time of pumping as well. Also if you find that there is not enough milk to feed or save for a later date then keep it to use in your babies bath or even on a scratch or rash that your little one might have.
I mentioned a few months back on Instagram that Hamza got Hand Foot and Mouth from Childcare and passed it on to Hannah when she was just one week old, and so I used some leftover breast milk on her blisters that were just beginning to form and within two days they completely disappeared!
I then put some onto Hamza’s hands and feet when he was sleeping and they healed much faster as well! Even his pediatrician was amazed!
Make sure you fully empty one breast before moving your baby to the other one, I would alternate between breasts sometimes if I felt that Hamza was not getting enough milk and then could not understand why he would never seem to get full and kept wanting to come back for more.
I discovered that it was because all the fatty milk that keeps them fuller for longer is at the back of the breast, hence why you need to make sure they empty the boob before you change sides.
Try not to stress too much about whether your baby is getting enough milk or not.
I know that is easier said than done.
But more than likely they are getting enough especially if they are consistently gaining weight and have enough wet nappies.
I found that when I was breastfeeding with Hannah second time around I had a lot more stress than when I was breastfeeding Hamza and my milk supply is so much less the second time around because of that.
The beginning few weeks are the absolute hardest.
Both you and your baby are figuring this out but you will find your rhythm and before you know it it will become second nature and you’ll find yourself preparing lunch while feeding your baby at the same time.
Breastfeeding is the most rewarding thing you can do for your baby and although it is exhausting and mentally draining at times it will allow you to bond with your baby in a way that is too magical to describe.
So keep at it for as long as you can whether it be for a few weeks or a few years. It will change you for the better as a Mother and provide your baby with the best start of their life.
Thank you for reading if you got this far and I hope it helped some of you on your breastfeeding journey!