Breastfeeding Tips from Moms

Recently I seem to be surrounded by a spate of newborns which has turned my focus for a while to all things baby…

Once the journey of pregnancy and the hurdle of birth are behind you most new moms immediately turn their attention to feeding their new bundle. Breastfeeding is usually the recommended method in hospital and my clinic nurses but so many new moms really battle to get this right and within a few days or weeks have given it up altogether to eliminate the stress, often quite understandably! But however stressful the process of learning to breastfeed (for mom and baby) is a vital one as so many studies have proven the benefits – both long and short term for both parties! Even if the nurses don’t have the right manner, they do have your and your baby’s best interests at heart.

The ecoBaby Company recently collated some of the best breastfeeding tips from other moms and I am pleased to be able to share some of their insights with you here. I hope you find them informative, interesting and most of all encouraging! Keep at it and try some of these helpful hints – it will be worth it!

Please keep in mind that these are homegrown remedies and mainly come from experience rather than expertise.

Breastfeeding tips from moms

My best breastfeeding tip is: listen to what your baby wants! People will tell you to feed every so often & get your baby into a routine. Rather ignore that advice & listen to what your baby wants. Feed them when they’re hungry. Your baby’s needs are constantly changing & you need to accommodate that rather than try & force your baby into a mould. It’ll be much less stressful for both of you that way.
-Bianca Bradfield

I breastfed my 1st baby for 24 month and still breastfeeding my 7 month old. My advice to all new mums is that breast is really best. My daughter went to half day school when she was 26 months old and she didn’t get sick. I think I got sick more often than she did. Her immune system was really strong and I do believe it was due to my breastfeeding her.
-Lee-Ann Pillay

Having breastfed two children and donated milk to a breastmilk bank; then really battling with my third, I would say to new moms that breastfeeding is sometimes hard and doesn’t always come naturally. That the first few weeks can be awful and really hard work. But it gets easier and easier and is so worth it in the end. Get help from a lactation consultant if you’re struggling – they know more than you think there is to know about breastfeeding! I am now about to give birth to my 4th and am really hoping to get breastfeeding off to a good start this time round.
-Taryn Turner

Before I fell pregnant I decided that I will breastfeed. So when I fell pregnant I was over the moon; a true dream come true. I was so blessed to give birth naturally (100% natural with no pain killers) to a beautiful baby girl and she instantly latched on with no problems at all. But I started having troubles with supply. Unfortunately I was not blessed with large breasts; I have 34A cup. I spoke to a lactation specialist and she said that unfortunately the size of the breast does matter. But because I was small breasted it does not mean that I am not producing enough, it just means that I cannot store much. Therefore I was still producing enough milk as to what a big breasted woman can produce. My problem was the storage. So for weeks I battled. But I kept on and on eventually I was able to store 30ml at a time and I let her suckle whenever she needed. But because I had to feed every hour or two winter times were terrible especially night feeds I would freeze while my baby was happily sucking away in her own time. So my mother bought me a Peek-a-Moo winter shirt. And I LOVED it. I never took it off. It is so convenient and warm in the winters. And best of all I was able to breast feed with family around without having to go to the bedroom. My daughter is 10 months old and I am still very proudly breast feeding. So to all the mommy’s who are having troubles? DO NOT GIVE UP!! It is really worth it in the end. Even though I can only store and give my little one 30ml at a time, at least I am still breast feeding.Try your best, drink lots and lots of liquid. That helps me a lot. And if you have small breasts it does not mean that you cannot produce enough milk we can produce just as much as big breasted woman we just can’t store as much.
-Bronwen Beytell

Breast feeding can be really difficult. A lot of the time, the pain associated with breast feeding can cause problems with latching, and becomes more of a chore than a bonding experience. There are nipple creams that you can use – and everyone you speak to will have a different brand that worked for them – nipple shields (which are fine to use in the beginning but become laborious) refrigerated Cabbage leaves, which work for pain relief but can take up a bit of room in the baby bag (said with a wink) and other lotions, potions and old wives tales that promise relief whilst breast feeding. What help me exponentially was going for regular (at least 4) laser physiotherapy sessions on my nipples. These sessions healed my cracked, bleeding nipples in record time. Within a little over a week, I was feeding like a pro, with no pain, no cracked nipples and my greatest reward, a chubby, happy baby and the unbelievable bonding experience I gained from being able to breast feed. Speak to your hospital about this option – they will either have someone who can come to your room or a facility within the hospital. Once breastfeeding becomes easy, I recommend that baby finishes a breast before you put him or her onto the other breast. The fore milk is the thirst quencher, it’s the fatty hind milk that fills them up and gives them the nutrients and fat they need. Making them more satisfied which in turn can make them sleep longer. Don’t go by a timer. Let baby drink until you feel your breast is completely empty – then move on to the next. This will also help with possible mastitis. Good luck Moms, new and old. If you are privileged enough to be able to breast feed (as there are many other factors which can make breast feeding difficult or impossible) it can be one of the greatest gift you can give your child.
-Amanda Wood-Marcus

Make a breast feeding kit; get a basket or a small bag and fill it with things you’ll want on hand while nursing: a refillable bottle of water (one with a pop top spout is great for one-handed maneuvering); an energy bar; something to read; baby nail clippers (it’s a great time to get those nails, especially if your baby dozes off); a pad of paper and pen (for jotting down all the things you want to do if you ever get a chance); your cell phone; lanolin for sore nipples; a burp cloth; and so on. Also remember to use a good nipple cream, from a few months before baby arrives, to prepare your nipples (ecoBaby recommends Dr Hauschka Blackthorn Body Oil for this, it works wonders!!).
-Janine Lombard

When your breasts overproduce during those first weeks and become engorged, simply place a zip-lock bag with peas in the freezer. Place the frozen peas on the painful area for 10 minutes after a feed. And then place something hot on the same spot 10 minutes before the next feed (or take a hot shower). The cold helps to slow down milk production in the affected area, while the heat helps drain the ducts better.
-Lizelle Rademeyer

My breastfeeding tips (a total of 24 months experience between my boys and still going with number 2):
* learn to feed lying down so you can sleep while feeding
* have lots of skin-on-skin contact particularly in the first couple of days/weeks to encourage your baby to latch
* breastfeeding doesn’t hurt. If it does there’s something not quite right
* see a lactation consultant if you’re having trouble. They are worth their weight in gold. I saw my LC 4 times with son #1 and twice with son #2.
* persevere through those first couple of weeks – it’s so worth it
* it doesn’t come “naturally” to everyone and can be really hard work to get the latch and supply & demand sorted. Push through and soon you’ll be able to feed standing on your head
* if you really want to breastfeed, surround yourself with supportive people – people who will encourage you, make you tea, keep you calm etc. NOT people who say things like “why are you even bothering”
* your milk is perfectly formed for your child. It is enough.
-Liz McEvoy

TRUST yourself. Trust the body that grew your baby for 9 months inside you, that kept your baby safe and supplied it with all it needed will do the same when your baby arrives.
Don’t listen to anybody else, don’t stress about not having enough milk, or that your baby wont latch etc just go for it and let nature take its course. Secondly – Enjoy every moment of it – It truly is a sacred connection and a beautiful thing between you and your child and if more people realised that breastfeeding wouldn’t be so taboo.
-Samantha Becker

Best breastfeeding tip ever that was given to me and made my life a whole life easier. My little dolly never used to drink when I held her to my breast the way you normally do. She was 3 months prem and very tiny:( Being a first time mum you can imagine the frustration I was going through every time I brought her to my breast and she wouldn’t and couldn’t latch on. Then a miracle in the form of my best friend came along and told me to turn my dolly around, head by my breast and legs sticking out under my arm (opposite direction to normal way) with a pillow underneath to support her full weight. And lo and behold she latched on instantly and drank like that till I weaned her :):):) (ecoBaby note: This breastfeeding position is commonly called the “Football Hold”) To increase your milk drink flat coke/ginger beer. And Milo every night

Thank you so much ecoBaby for sharing these great insights with us! The ecoBaby Company is a local online shopping portal for eco-friendly toys and products for moms and babies. They off the best, quality products available, that are safe and comfortable for your baby, and put them all in one place where you can browse at your leisure. Everything is environmentally sustainable too!

The ecoBaby Company is offering Becoming you readers a 10% discount to use on their website until 8 June 2012. Just enter the code: ‘becomingyou’ to claim your discount. Currently they are also offering 15% off Bam+Boo Cloth Nappies and regular 12 Hour Specials on individual products to be notified of the 12 Hour Specials sign up for the ecoBaby newsletter and receive early warning emails of all the 12 Hour Specials!

images: “La Gitane du Sacro Monte, Grenade.” Taken by French photographer Jean Dieuzaide in 1953. To find out more about the story behind this beautiful breastfeeding photograph click here.

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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