I thought I’d give you all a rundown of the easy, straightforward, foolproof advice I’ve received about breastfeeding, so that you too can feed your newborn with ease. I promise if you follow these easy steps, you’ll be a master at breastfeeding in no time.
Here we go – follow these to the letter, make sure you don’t skip any steps:
- It shouldn’t hurt. If it does, you’re doing it wrong.
- It will hurt at first. It’s natural, don’t think that it means you’re doing it wrong.
- Lean over the baby and let the breast fall into their mouth.
- Don’t lean over the baby, let them find the breast.
- Sit up straight
- Lean forward
- Lean back against a pillow
- Don’t use a pillow
- Let them feed for as long as they need.
- Don’t let them feed for more than 15 minutes.
- If you’re experiencing cracked or grazed nipples, pump on that breast for a day to let it heal
- Don’t pump and bottle feed, it can cause nipple confusion
- Keep pumping to continue the level of milk production
- Be careful of pumping as it can over-stimulate milk production.
- Pumping has no effect on milk production.
- Have a hot shower prior to feeding to soften your breasts
- Don’t use a shower or heat packs – they stimulate more milk production.
- Always offer both breasts when feeding
- Offer the same breast twice to make sure your baby gets the hind milk
- Don’t wake a baby for feeds – they’ll wake if they’re hungry
- Make sure you feed every 6 hours. Wake the baby if you need to.
- Feed every 4 hours
- Feed every 3 hours
- It’s easy once you get the hang of it…
Let me just say, every one of these pieces of advice came from the midwives at the hospital, or well researched books. These are not just well meaning opinions from the general public.
I want to be truthful here for a minute – breastfeeding is hard. It may be a natural thing, but that doesn’t mean it comes naturally. There is a beautiful connection between you and your child when breastfeeding, and I love being able to provide for Birdie in that way. However, you have to fight your way through the advice, the pain, the doubt, and the 3am desperation to get there. It’s certainly worth it, but give yourself a break if you’re not the instant earth mother that so many people think you’ll be. You’ll get there – with Birdie at 11 days old, I’m only just starting to heal enough to not wince in pain every time she latches on, which is every 3-4 hours. It’s tough. Get someone to give you a big hug, often, just for giving it a go.