When you talk about breastfeeding, different mothers who have been through the pain and gain would share the struggles but also the precious memories of nursing their child. While every child is different, it is always useful to get some breastfeeding tips for others who have been there and done that.
I breastfed my boys for 5.5 years in total – that is probably over 7, 000 hours of labour. The beginnings were definitely tough, but I miss those precious moments of mother-child bonding.
I gathered up some tips and experiences from the mums of Little Day Out and here are our top five breastfeeding tips for success!
By the way, do remember to check out our mega list of nursing rooms in Singapore too.
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Top 5 Breastfeeding Tips for New Mums
1. Remember that Breastfeeding is Grueling and It IS tough
Let’s face it. Nursing a tiny human being is challenging. Both mother and baby have to learn, the learning curve often steep for new mums. Not every mum is blessed with a good milk supply and babies need to learn how to nurse properly otherwise it is physically torturing. Think sore, cracked and bleeding nipples (lanolin cream like Medela Purelan 100 is helpful for soothing this condition).
So take heart that it is not an easy task, it does not come naturally and mums should not feel guilty about limited milk supply or a baby is unable to latch well. It typically takes several weeks for nursing to feel (yes, literally) less painful. Perseverance is key, and opting out of breastfeeding is a great choice especially if it causes too much emotional and physical distress.
2. Rest and Drink lots of Fluids
As new mums, rest is essential. Rest and fluid intake are critical for milk supply to increase. I was told by a lactation consultant to drink one cup of liquids (can be warm soup, red date tea, water) before, during and after a single nursing session. That’s three cups of liquids in one single session! Truth be told, I felt that being more hydrated helped. Of course, feeling more relaxed and not letting anxiety reign is important. Mother’s Milk fenugreek tea, available on iHerb, has also been known to double milk production.
3. Get Help from the Village, As Soon as Possible
To be in the ideal state of mind, new mums need to get help. For night feeds with expressed breastmilk or formula milk, get dads to chip in by helping to feed the baby so mum can sleep in.
Visit a lactation consultant (or request for a home visit) to check the baby’s latch. Breastfeeding is a learning process for both mother and child, it is not as natural or instinctive as it sounds.
Nourishment is extremely important during the confinement period. Grandparents can be roped in to help with the new mums’ needs, they would love the chance to be loving babysitters.
Of course, try to keep toxic visitors at bay.
4. Buy a Reliable Breast Pump
Electronic breast pumps are very helpful. The Medela Freestyle breast pump saw me through the working/pumping mum days. The suction is powerful, enabling the pumping sessions to be really efficient. We have heard great reviews about the Hegen PCTO electric breast pump as well, if you want to support #localbrands, this is a wonderful option.
Other than using an electric breast pump, some manual work can be very helpful in clearing clogged ducts.
My breastfeeding tip: get your spouse or the masseuse to clear out clogs with a bottle of warm water. While rolling out the painful spots, be sure to apply more pressure with warm compresses.
5. Surround Yourself with Positive Mums who will Support You in Your Motherhood Journey
Who else better to turn to when tears fall in the middle of the night than fellow mums who know your pain and struggles? The best support I had were mums who could identify with my issues, and provided timely advice and encouragement. The loneliness of new parents can be rather overwhelming. Have your support group ready, be it on Whatsapp, Social Media, forums.
All the Best in Your Breastfeeding Journey
The nights are going to long, at times dark but the years fly by. I love to reminisce the days when my children were little and tender, when they gazed into my eyes during nursing moments. And in the twinkle of an eye, they do not need mama’s milk anymore.
Know that you are not alone in your journey, and all mums want the best for their child. May you persevere on, all the best in your breastfeeding journey and wishing you a fruitful one!
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