Tips For New Mums Just Starting To Breastfeed

After having my son, I was lucky to have someone who came to teach me how to breastfeed. The patience shown  and the helpful tips that were given to me made breastfeeding a pleasurable experience for myself and my baby. While breastfeeding can be the most natural, wonderful experience for many mothers and babies, I have heard stories from friends who were not given any guidance after having their babies  and this caused them to abandon breastfeeding earlier than planned.

The World Health Organization and Ministry of Health advise exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a babies life. To encourage new mums who are just starting out, we at Mamalette have collated information that should prove useful to you in your desire to breastfeed your child.

Tip 1: Your first week of breastfeeding may be painful but is definitely gets better

While the mental image of your newborn suckling on your breasts as he enters the world is ideal, in reality, many new mothers can expect to feel at least a little pain for the first few weeks. This could be attributed to latching issues where your baby has difficulty in putting your nipple in her mouth. This can result in sore nipples and your baby not getting enough milk.

It is easy to feel discouraged at this age but patience and encouragement from your spouse or close relatives can help overcome this problem. The best advice for you is to not quit even if things are not going well. With perseverance breastfeeding should become a pleasurable experience for you and your baby.

Tip 2: You should learn how to prevent yourself from getting blocked ducts or mastitis

Blocked ducts occur when something has stopped your milk from flowing freely in that area.

This can lead to mastitis when the blocked duct hasn’t be cleared and the trapped milk becomes infected or causes inflammation.

Blocked ducts may be caused by wearing very tight bras, if you’ve been sitting for hours with a seatbelt across your breasts, if you’ve slept in an awkward position e.g. on your stomach, or if your baby is not latching on properly or is not feeding enough.

It is important to prevent blocked duct by avoiding the causes listed above. Also try to ensure that your breasts are emptied out regularly. If you baby is not emptying your breasts try to express.

Try and treat a blocked duct as soon as you can to avoid the development of mastitis or worse.

Tip 3: Your diet will affect the flavor of your breast milk

Your diet can also affect the taste of your milk and your baby might like some tastes more than others. While your baby probably became used to most of the things you ate regularly while you were pregnant, there may still be some foods he or she just doesn’t like when they appear in your breastmilk. Some mothers notice that their babies reject their breastmilk or throw up regularly when they eat certain foods. Taking precaution and being observant is recommended to ensure breastfeeding is beneficial for yourself and your baby.

Tip 4: Learn to talk to other women about their experiences

Some of the most useful tips I learnt about breastfeeding was from talking to other women. Ask other women around you, your mum, mother in law, aunties, cousins, friends etc about their experiences of breastfeeding. This willl help you to get a true picture of what it’s like and make you prepared.

While the above are just a few tips on breastfeeding. It is important to do your research and talk to your doctor if necessary about any concerns that you have. Doing so can make your breastfeeding experience a pleasurable one.

For the more experienced readers what tips will you offer a new mum who is just starting to breastfeed?

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What To Do When You Are Not Ready To Wean

For the first few weeks of birth, when I had my daughter I struggled with breastfeeding, first, my nipples were inverted so my baby could not latch on to it.

Then when I overcame that, I  struggled with lactation, so many times I would put her to breast and it would feel as if there was no milk coming out anymore, then as result of poor latching, I had sores on the nipple which made breastfeeding painful for me. If anyone had told me I would breastfeed my daughter till she was over a year old, I would call such a person a liar.

Fast forward to two months after birth, breastfeeding gradually became a second nature. To the point that I unconsciously associated carrying my baby in my arms with breastfeeding. She too became so used to breastfeeding that whenever I carried her she would reach for the breast. For me, it was an enriching time because I bonded well with my daughter.

Not everyone is eager to wean his or her babies off the breast, so if you are in this category read on. When you continue to breastfeed, it offers you the opportunity to nourish and nurture your baby and perhaps you have returned to work, breastfeeding enables you to reconnect with your baby.

Here are the things you need to think about when you are not ready to wean your baby.

1.The timing of weaning is personal. Don’t let anyone pressure you, the choice of when to wean your baby is yours to decide which is determined by what works best depending on your family dynamics. If you are okay with it, then continue breastfeeding.

2. Continued breastfeeding improves health outcomes and when you continue to breastfeed, your baby’s health gets better as the day goes by. So, babies who are breastfed longer are healthier than those who are breastfed for a short time.

3. Note your reason for wanting to continue breastfeeding and keep at it. Many women feel somewhat when their babies are over a year and they are still breastfeeding them. It is quite saddening that the people mounting this pressure are fellow women who should know better. They call the baby of about a year plus ‘old woman’, ‘old man’ and then ‘remain the breast milk for the others oo’ indirectly shaming the mother for breastfeeding.

4. It has been proven that the length of time a mother breastfeeds is socially driven not health driven. The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding until your baby is two years old. If you really want to keep breastfeeding stick to your plan and wait it out till when you feel it is right for you and your baby to stop.


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