Meemoobaby partners with Bshirt for some amazing breastfeeding advice!
Meelight has partnered with the amazing Bshirt - www.thebshirt.clothing - for some fantastic breastfeeding tips!
The Bshirt Co-Founders, mumpreneurs Lisa and Philippa, are passionate about improving breastfeeding rates in the UK.
A social venture launched in March 2017, Lisa and Philippa have many years of breastfeeding experience between them and are leading the way to improve new mum's confidence and help to make breastfeeding even more accessible – literally.
Latching on – the "Burger vs Spaghetti" technique
How to get a baby to latch on properly:
Place your baby's cheek to rest on your breast. Like a lovely pillow. Let them smell the milk. Hand express colostrum if they are sleepy. Wait for them to open their mouths as wide as they can. Pop a big mouthful of nipple in there!
Check whether your baby looks like they are sucking on spaghetti (nipple feeding – ouch) or eating a burger in a wide-mouthed fashion (breastfeeding – not completely pain free but hurts a lot less).
Some pain is normal when breastfeeding.
The key difference is normal pain is incredibly painful at the start of the feed then eases after about 30-90 seconds. Abnormal pain lasts through the WHOLE FEED and sometimes lingers afterwards. If you experience normal pain there are products that could help - Lansinoh make nipple shields and lanolin cream that will save your life. If you have abnormal pain you could have one of the following: a baby with tongue tie, mastitis, improper latch (a spaghetti feeder) or inverted nipples. Seek medical/professional help for this - see our Support Group recommendations at the bottom of this article.
Know your baby's feeding cues
Babies are fiercely individual – they know exactly what they want. Observe your baby and get to know their habits when they’re peckish. Maybe your baby will lick their lips or suck their hands when they’re hungry – try latching them on to see. Just don’t let them get really, really hungry and cross – it’s almost impossible to latch on a grumpy baby.
Give it time
For at least the first few weeks you will be feeding your baby a lot. For hours at a time and then 20 minutes later for another FULL HOUR. Your baby will fall into a milk coma-like sleep. Your baby will pin you to the sofa or bed for the entire day.
Stock up on books and magazines. Binge watch something you wouldn’t normally have time to watch. Get help for the laundry and cooking. Eat when you can. Embrace it. It might feel endless but it really won't last long.
There’s more than one type of milk
Breastfed babies get fed watery milk (foremilk) for the first 5-10 minutes and then thicker creamier milk (hind milk) comes in later, at the end (when they are ready for a nap). This is like having a drink before your meal. Hind milk is harder to get out because baby has to suck harder. Some babies get frustrated at this and cry before they are finished feeding their hind milk. After a 20-minute feed they might be pretty full from the watery stuff and only actually have a little of the creamy hind milk. And that’s OK provided it doesn’t upset their tummies. So, they might be hungry again in 40 minutes. And that's OK. They will eventually be able to drain both boobs in one feed!
The secret to having enough milk
Your body releases hormones every time you breastfeed. They make milk for now, and milk for tomorrow. It takes three days for your body to catch up if your baby suddenly changes its feeding habits - i.e. if it has a growth spurt, which happens frequently.
Your body only makes enough milk as it thinks your baby needs. But as your baby grows, it needs more milk. If you feed on demand these hormones get released and within 3 days your milk is bountiful. But if you say 'the book says the baby should wait 3 hours between feeds then your body never gets the chemical signals it needs (that's what hormones are) to know how much milk to make for your baby.
If you panic and supplement with formula because you have a cranky hungry baby you interfere further with the chemical signalling. Demand feeding - which means when your baby wants milk no matter how long ago their last feed was - ensures you have a sufficient supply. It can mean that at times your milk needs to catch up with your baby. But it will.
The first 6 weeks can be so hard and you might hate it
Breastfeeding is flipping hard and you will have days where you hate it. Particularly the first 6 - 10 weeks. If you can somehow dig deep and get help and support to power through those first few weeks it will get easier. You will know your baby inside and out, they will be older and more alert and aware of stuff like hunger and how milk is from boobs, and how boobs are great and you will be able to breastfeed for as long as you and your baby choose.
You do not need to wean babies off breast milk at 6 months nor indeed when you return to work. Breastfeeding is something that the World Health Organisation suggests continues until a child is at least 2 years old for maximum health benefits to mother and child.
Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow: The Bshirt breastfeeding support recommendations…
Your local midwife or health visitor
The National Breastfeeding Helpline can be contacted via phone and their webchat (9:30am – 9:30pm 355 days per year): https://www.nationalbreastfeedinghelpline.org.uk/
Message the Start4Life breastfeeding friend on Facebook – available 24/7: https://www.facebook.com/Start4LifeBreastfeedingFriend/
La Leche League run local support groups and also a telephone helpline:
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers run support groups and a telephone helpline: https://abm.me.uk/breastfeeding-support-groups/
Your local breastfeeding cafe