For World Breastfeeding Week, we’ve teamed up with Emma, founder of Mama’s Milk – breastfeeding accessories - and lactation consultation in-the-making to share her top tips for embracing your breastfeeding journey. Keep reading for her handy breastfeeding advice, useful tips and supportive guidance.
1) The importance of positioning
“We often people talking about getting a ‘good latch’ but in order to help get a good latch we first need to look at positioning.
If baby’s positioning isn’t right they’ll almost always struggle to get a good latch. In turn this can leave mum feeling sore and baby struggling to transfer milk well.
There are lots of different feeding positions to consider, and no one position is better than the other, it’s just whichever works best for you is the best one to use. However whichever position you choose there are a few key points to consider. Firstly, when bringing baby to the breast, they need to have their spine in a nice straight line and be face-on to the nipple and breast – as opposed to having their head turned to the side looking over their shoulder as they try to feed.
Baby needs to come to the breast leading with their chin and have their head free to move back and forth as they need to. We often hear the phrase ‘nose to nipple’ which can feel difficult if it doesn’t seem to be working for you. A top tip here is to move baby across in the direction of their feet. In the cradle position, for example, we often see babies are positioned too far round into the crook of mums arm. By moving baby across in the direction of their feet, while supporting their head by the nape of their neck at the base of their skull - rather than holding their head – we can help baby become better placed to have the space and freedom to move their head back, lead with the chin, be in the ‘nose to nipple’ position and open wide for a good deep latch.
2) Milk Supply
One of mum’s biggest worries is often their milk supply: ‘have I got enough milk?’ ‘My baby wants to feed frequently, maybe it’s because I don’t have enough milk?’ ‘I don’t leak like my friend did, does that mean I’m not making enough milk?’
It’s no secret that body confidence is something many women struggle with and when it comes to breastfeeding it’s no different. But your body is AMAZING! Our breasts are sisters, not twins. They may look and work differently, one may be larger or produce more milk than the other, but between them both they’ll make the perfect amount of milk for your baby.
Milk is made on a supply and demand basis. So the more milk we remove; the more our breasts will make to replace what has been used.
In the early days and weeks we often feel engorged as our bodies sometimes over-produce milk and it can take a while for this to settle down. But once our supply has regulated to meet our baby’s true needs it’s normal for our breasts to lose that full engorged feeling and feel soft or even ‘empty’ in comparison instead. It’s important to remember they’re not empty. Our breasts are never truly empty, they’re always making more milk.
It’s also important to know that however much or little you’re able to pump, or whether or not you leak any milk is absolutely not an indication of your supply.
3) Breast Milk Storage
Breast Milk Storage can be confusing, as unfortunately there is still a fair bit of outdated advice online, with different websites stating different guidelines.
Here is a table based on up-to-date guidelines from the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) the Breastfeeding Network and the NHS.
We understand that there is not one size fits all approach when it comes to nursing your little one. Browse our essential feeding accessories that can help to make the experience a positive one for both you and your new arrival. We hope Emma's tips help you to embrace your breastfeeding journey and we thank the wonderful team at Mamas's Milk for sharing this advice with us.
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