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Breastfeeding essentials for new mums

With most of your focus on your pregnancy and the pending arrival of your child, you can be excused for not being prepared on how to breastfeed.Technically all you really need is your breast to breastfeed as nature intended! There are however, many wonderful products in the marketplace that will help to make your breastfeeding journey an enjoyable one.

Immediately post birth

This is probably the most difficult time.  Immediately post birth your breasts will become engorged, as the milk comes in and your body learns to regulate the milk supply needed for your child.

Nursing bra

Invest in a good quality nursing bra.  The nursing bra should be worn exclusively during the first 6 to 8 weeks post birth.  The stretchy nature of this bra will allow for fluctuation and changes in body shape, whilst giving it that much needed support.

Available in easy sizing XS-XXL, it means that multiple cups sizes will fit into each bra size.  This will help to avoid compression and restriction of the breast, which can lead to conditions such as mastitis.

Sleep bra

Sleep bras are ideal and should be worn in the first 6-8 weeks post birth.  Sleep bras will help to keep your nursing pads in place and will allow for a comfortable sleep, as it will hold your breasts in place.

TIP:  Invest in a sleep bra that is made from natural fabrics such as cotton or bamboo. These fabrics will feel great against your skin and will keep you cool during the night.

Nursing pads

Some women are heavier leakers than others.  Some women might find they only leak in the first few weeks, while others continue to leak throughout their breastfeeding journey.

Most women will require nursing pads to absorb the excess milk and protect your clothing from wetness and stains. Invest in some good quality washable nursing pads.  Depending on how heavy you leak will determine what absorbency you require.  It is generally recommended that you wear heavier protection during the night as you feed less often and your breasts become fuller, making them more prone to leak.

Washable nursing pads made from cotton or bamboo is a fantastic option.  They are made from natural, breathable fabrics that are soft against the skin and allow the nipples to breath.

Disposable nursing pads are often made from fibres that do not allow the skin to breathe.  This can result in infections such as thrush as the nipple sits in a warm moist environment for extended periods of time.

Carry a spare set of nursing pads with you in a sealed container or waterproof bag.  This way wet/used nursing pads can be placed into the sealable bag and dry ones can be worn in place.

Cooling/heating pads

Some women will find that cooling or heat packs help to relieve their breasts early on, from the effects of engorgement.

Lanolin cream

Cracked nipples are common especially with first baby.  The nipples are not used to having a baby suckle, for what can sometimes seem like all day.

A Lanolin cream can help to relieve and repair cracked nipples and is safe for baby.

Another tried and tested remedy is breast milk.  After feeding, squeeze a little extra milk and spread it over the nipple.  Leave the nipple to air dry.  This is particularly effective and costs you nothing.

Nursing pillow

The use of a pillow is a great idea, especially for a mother who is learning to breastfeed.

The pillow will help to keep the baby in position allowing mum to focus on getting the latch right.

The pillow will support baby and keep him at the correct height, which allows mum to rest while baby feeds.

TIP:  A bed pillow will also work should budget not extend to buying a specialized nursing pillow.

Out and about

For a lot of new moms breastfeeding in public can be daunting.  There are a few essential items you can invest in to make the experience less public.

Nursing cover

Invest in a good nursing cover made from cotton or another natural fiber.  This way baby stays cool from under the cover and is able to feed effectively.

A good nursing cover will have a strap that goes around your neck.  This way it will sit into position without the risk of falling off during breastfeeding.

Nursing tanks

Nursing tanks are a great choice for women who want to stay covered up and feed discreetly in public, as her midriff can remain covered as she drops the cups down to feed her baby.

TIP:  Invest in a good supportive tank that does not require a nursing bra to be worn under it.  This way you have fewer layers on and it is less fussy when feeding in public.

Pumping

Pumping is convenient and gives new moms choices.  Pumping means that she can continue to give her child breast milk well after she has returned to work, or simply should she want to release engorged breasts.

Breast pump

Invest in or hire a small portable breast pump.  This way it can be taken with you where ever you go.

Pumping bra

Pumping bras are handy but not essential.  They will help to keep the flanges in place so that you are able to get on with other tasks while you pump.

Sterilizer

Invest in a good quality sterilizer.  You will continue to use this for many years to come.

Bottles

Make sure you purchase bottles that are compatible for the breast pump you have purchased.

Pay attention to the hole in the teat.  It is sized differently to control the amount of liquid that comes through the teat as baby drinks.

A newborn will need a very small hole, compared to that of a 6-month-old baby.

Storage bags

Storage bags are practically useful for women who want to store pumped breast milk.  They enable you to record date pumped and quantity for reference at a later date.

This way baby can be feed breast milk via a bottle when needed.

NOTE:  Freshly pumped breast milk can be stored in a sealed bag or container for up to 5 days.  If frozen it can last up to 12 months.

Breastfeeding advice

It is very easy to get caught up in your new baby’s world and want to be a perfect mother.

Every woman’s experiences are different and it is important not to compare yourself with others.  Breastfeeding is not always easy in particular the first few weeks.  It is important to preserve because it does get easier.

Ask for help if you need it.  There are many wonderful support organizations for new mothers available:

Tresillian

Breastfeeding Association

Eat well and stay hydrated.  Looking after yourself is essential to your health and the well being of your baby.  The quality of your milk is directly related to the quality of the food you consume.

Lastly enjoy!  The bond that is developed between mother and child is an important one.  Nurturing your child and providing the gift of breast milk is what nature intended.


Article provided by Tracey Montford.
Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at https://au.cakematernity.com or catch up with with her on social @cakematernity.

Author: NBMs

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