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Breastfeeding Tips for New Mums

Posted on 1/05/2023 in Motherhood

For some women, breastfeeding comes easily. For others, it can be a struggle. And it can feel like everybody (and their mother) has an opinion!

This article will look at both the positives and the challenges that come with breastfeeding, as well as giving you breastfeeding tips and guidance – without the old wive’s tales! Because there’s enough pressure on new mums without adding a bunch of ‘shoulds’ around breastfeeding onto your plate!

Breastfeeding is a Personal Choice

When it comes to breastfeeding, there are a multitude of reasons women choose to exclusively breastfeed. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, with continued breastfeeding and complementary foods for up to two years or longer. For many women, exclusive breastfeeding is an economical choice: breastfeeding is technically ‘free’ and can provide a beautiful bonding experience between Mum and bub.

For many women, breastfeeding simply isn’t sustainable. Whether going back to work, navigating the schedules of older children in the family, or simply not producing enough milk to sustain exclusive breastfeeding, the reasons for choosing not to breastfeed are just as valid as those arguing for the practice.



What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding?

There’s a reason they call breastmilk ‘liquid gold’. It contains a wide range of nutrients, including antibodies, that are needed for your baby’s development.

Amazingly, those antibodies are created via the signalling between the baby’s saliva and Mum’s nipples, enabling the breast to produce more of the antibodies the baby needs to fight off infection. Breastmilk also contains human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which play a vital role in the makeup of a baby’s gut microbiome – and therefore, their lifelong immunity. With 1 in 9 children affected by asthma, and 1 in 20 children having a food allergy, emerging research has proven the link between a healthy gut microbiome and mitigation of these conditions.

For Mum, breastfeeding can help the uterus contract, weight stabilise and may even be protective against diseases and conditions such as high blood pressure, breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.



Learning to Latch

Latching can be a struggle for many mums and bubs, however there are a number of latch techniques you can try before you need to start getting worried.

If you’re a new mum, you probably won’t know if you’re doing it right straight away!

Signs of a good latch:

  • The latch is comfortable, you don’t experience any pain;
  • Your baby’s chest and stomach are resting against your body;
  • Baby’s head is straight and not turned to the side;
  • Baby’s chin touches your breast, with their tongue cupping under your nipple;
  • You can see or hear your baby swallowing, and their ears move a little;
  • The mouth opens wide around the breast, not just around the nipple.

If you’re struggling to get your baby to latch, consider:

  • Your environment: is it too loud? Too bright? Move to a calm, quiet place or pop a covering over your little one so there’s less visual stimulation to distract them;
  • Letting them lead: offer your breast, but let your baby find the nipple on their own.
  • Go skin-to-skin to calm your little one. This regulates their heart rate and their breathing, allowing for a more pleasant breastfeeding experience for both of you.


Getting into the Groove

As with all things baby-related, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to a feeding schedule.

Most exclusively breastfed babies will feed every 2 to 4 hours. Some babies may feed every hour (this is called cluster feeding), and others may have a longer sleep interval of 4 to 5 hours between feeds. Newborns are hungry often, so frequent feedings are generally not something to be too worried about.

It can be helpful to keep a log of the times your baby feeds to identify a pattern, but do remember to be flexible: as soon as you think you’ve got a handle on the feeding thing, you’ll probably be hit with a tooth or a growth spurt, and that schedule will go right out the window! It can be really frustrating, but it’s totally normal!

Fuelling your Feeds

Breastfeeding can take a lot of time and energy, so it’s important that you keep an eye on two things: your fluid intake and the foods you’re fuelling your body with.

Everything you eat goes through to your breastmilk, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to optimise your baby’s gut health from day one. For this reason, a wide range of healthy foods is essential. Fruits and vegetables also have a high water content, which can make for easier breastmilk production!

It's important to ensure that you’re getting enough healthy fats and adequate protein when you’re breastfeeding, as these macronutrients are important components of breast milk.

Experts recommend limiting foods high in saturated fat and refined sugar, such as biscuits and cakes, hamburgers and pizza. Similarly, it’s best to avoid beverages with a high sugar content such as energy drinks, sports drinks, and even fruit juices, as these not only spike your blood sugar, but your baby’s, too.

Having water bottles stationed around your house is a great idea: have a bottle next to the chair you feed in, one at the baby change table, one in the bathroom, and one by your bed! We can’t stress the importance of staying hydrated.

In the same vein, caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee should only be consumed in small quantities, and alcohol avoided altogether, or consumed when you have surplus breastmilk set aside to substitute in.

Get Comfy!

One of our top tips for an enjoyable breastfeeding experience is to ensure your clothing is comfortable and conducive to feeding.

From sleepwear to shapewear and breastfeeding bras, the garments you choose can either stress you out or make breastfeeding a breeze!


Breastfeeding Tops

Whether you have other children to chase after or simply want to maintain a healthy social life while feeding, breastfeeding tops can take the hassle out of feeding on the go.

With a range of options available, you can lift up an overlay, pull down a neckline, or unzip a section for easy breast access.


Breastfeeding Bras

Arguably one of the most important pieces in your postpartum wardrobe, a good breastfeeding bra will not only offer easy access for feeding, but it will also prevent leakage and provide support for your breasts as well. Look for wide straps, soft cups and steer clear of underwires!


Breastfeeding Covers

While many of the pieces we’ve mentioned have built in modesty accommodations, a breastfeeding cover is a fantastic option for occasions with lots of people, people you don’t know well, or for days when you feel like you’d just be more comfortable a little more covered up. They’re also a fantastic option for those in-between seasons where it’s too warm to wear a jumper, but too chilly for just a t-shirt.

Queen Bee Maternity



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