Breastfeeding Care

Breastfeeding Care

As a first time mummy or even fifth, you might be thinking about your breastfeeding journey. You may have had a bad experience in the past or would just like some tips before you begin. Breastfeeding can provide many nutritional and health benefits as well as those close moments. 

Although breastfeeding is natural, it is a learned skill for both mummy and baby. You and baby are learning together. Some days you will feel you are nailing it others not so much. Be prepared to practice and have patience. A breastfeeding class will help you learn the basics and avoid many common problems. After the first 2-3 weeks, you will find that breastfeeding will become easier. Find your local breastfeeding clinic, local classes. You will be able to speak to lactation experts and meets a few mummies on the way. 

Feeding Patterns

During the first several weeks, it will seem as if your baby is feeding all the time. Breast milk is quickly digested in a baby’s stomach. Therefore, baby needs to breastfeed at least 8-12 times every 24 hours during the first few weeks. Frequent feedings are needed for baby to gain weight and to stimulate your body to produce plenty of milk.

Feed your baby at the first signs of hunger. Don’t wait until baby cries. Crying can often be a late sign of hunger; it can then make latching on harder.

Sleepy Baby

Newborns can be drowsy, and tend to sleep long stretches of the day. If your baby falls asleep after only a few minutes of active feeding, he or she may not be getting enough breast milk.

  • Stroke the bottom of the baby’s foot with your finger
  • Place baby in a sitting position for burping
  • Loosen the baby’s clothing
  • Change breastfeeding positions; baby may stay awake in a different position
  • Gently squeeze and massage the breast to get the milk flowing

Baby is getting enough milk if:

  • Baby is back to his or her birth weight by 10-14 days
  • Baby gains weight steadily after the first week (4-7 ounces per week)
  • Baby makes swallowing sounds while nursing
  • Baby seems satisfied after being fed and burped
  • Baby is nursing at least 8 times in 24 hours
  • Your breasts feel softer after feeding
  • You are changing six to eight wet diapers a day by the end of the first week
  • By 5-7 days after birth, baby stools 3-6 times per day and may stool after each feeding for the first month of life

Breastfeeding Holds

You will spend many hours feeding and soothing your baby at the breast. Your baby’s success at latching onto the breast, as well as your comfort during feedings, are important for breastfeeding success. Try holding your baby in different positions to find what works best. If your baby is falling off the breast, giving you sore nipples or just sucking your nipple rather than taking a full mouth full. Pop your finger inside baby’s mouth to release latch and start again. 

Cradle Hold

The cradle hold is the most commonly used nursing position. Sit in a comfortable chair, place your baby on your, tummy-to-tummy. The baby’s head is in the crook of your arm and the face to your breast. The baby’s knees are underneath your other breast. The baby’s head, back and legs should all be in a straight line. If you feel your nipple starting to hurt during the feeding, check baby’s position.

Cross Cuddle Hold

Place a pillow on your lap and put the baby on top of the pillow. You will use the hand on the side as the breast to support the breast. Instead of holding the baby’s head in the bend of your elbow as in the cradle hold, hold him with the opposite arm so that your hand rests between the shoulder blades and supports the back of his neck and head. The baby lies chest to chest with the mother.

Football Hold

Cradle the back of your baby’s neck in your hand with the body under your breast and toward the elbow. Place a pillow under your elbow to support your baby’s bottom. Your other hand supports your breast. This position gives you control of the baby’s head and eases latch on positioning. This is a good position for mothers who have had cesareans.

Side-lying or Lying Cradle Hold

Lie on your side with one arm supporting your head. Your baby lies beside you with the head facing your breast. Pull the baby in snugly and place a pillow behind to support the baby. This is also a good position for mothers who have had a cesarean section because the baby does not put pressure on the mother’s stomach.

Breast Health

Establish a routine of checking your breasts and nipples regularly. Leaning how to identify, prevent, and treat conditions that can occur during breastfeeding can help you avoid problems and resolve discomfort faster.

Breast Care

  • Wear a supportive bra, even at night. Make sure it fits well and is not too tight. Nursing bras are convenient for feeding.
  • Avoid restrictive clothing and underwire bras, which can cause blocked milk ducts and increase the risk of breast infection.
  • Change nursing pads or try our Marbra leakproof nursing bra for ultimate comfort.
  • When showering, use only water on the nipples. Soap washes off the natural lubricant produced by the glands around your nipples; it can cause your nipples to become dry and cracked.

Sore Nipples

Breastfeeding should not be painful, but your nipples may feel tender for the first few days. If your nipples become sore, your baby may not be latching correctly. To help you can try nipple shields or silver cups to help cracked nipples. 

Plugged Ducts and Mastitis

breastfeeding mothers, a milk duct can become blocked and cause a hard, tender knot on the breast. Here are some tips to treat such an area:

  • Apply a warm compress to the affected area before feeding.
  • Allow your baby to nurse often. Offer the plugged side first if it is not too tender. If possible, position baby so that the chin or nose points to the plugged ducts. This will help drain the area more effectively.
  • While nursing, massage the hardened area, moving your fingers from the chest toward the nipple.
  • Use your hand or a pump to express milk left in the plugged breast after feeding.
  • Apply a cold compress after feeding to relieve pain and swelling.
  • Spend more time resting, eat a healthy diet, and drink enough fluids

Pumping Breast Milk

At times, you may need to use a pump to express the breast milk. Reasons for expressing breast milk vary. Women pump milk to relieve breast engorgement, permit another person (spouse, family member, caregiver) to feed the baby, or because they are returning to work.

Expressing milk can be done with a commercial pump or with your hands. Breast milk volume is regulated by supply and demand. Pumping is a way to keep your breasts regularly stimulated while you’re at work, on errands or if your baby is sick and has temporarily stopped feeding. It’s normal not to get milk the first few times your pump; keep trying.

These are our Marbra tips from 2 mummas. Please always talk to your health provider if you are struggling with any of the above. Hopefully these tips will come in handy if not a little reassurance. Lastly BURPING..

You can never burp enough. Your let down can sometimes be quite fast, which ends up causing baby to take in lots of air while feeding. Babies who have a lot of trapped wind tend to think they are full, and will come off the breast too soon. A good burp mid feed and at the end will ensure they are getting everything they need. Happy baby, happy mummy, happy boobies 😃

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