It is recommended that your baby exclusively feed on breast milk for the first few months of his or her life. Breast milk is full of nutrients and immune boosters that will help to aid in a healthy weight gain for your baby.
Breastfeeding is best, however, in a society where mothers are returning to work after just a few weeks of giving birth, pumping breast milk and feeding baby via a bottle is the next best option.
In an age where information is so accessible there is no excuse for not being prepared.
Invest in an assortment of breastfeeding essentials to help you in your breastfeeding journey.
- Supportive nursing bras
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Nursing pads
- Breast pump
- Nipple shield
- Nipple cream
- Heat packs
- Nursing PJ’s
Women will experience fluctuations in the size of their breasts when breastfeeding.
This is particularly true in the early stages of breastfeeding. We recommend wearing only a seamless bra for the first 4 weeks post birth. A supportive seamless bra will stretch and change with your body as needed without restricting the breasts. Avoid a cupped sized bra at this stage as your breast will become trapped and uncomfortable and conditions such as mastitis can occur.
Cupped sized nursing bras can be worn at approximately 4 weeks post birth.
It is important that the bra is fitted correctly and not resting on the milk ducts to ensure proper production of milk.
We advise going to a specialist bra fitter to get fitted.
A good nursing bra should have stretch in the top cup to allow for small amounts of fluctuation, supportive shoulder straps, 6 hooks and eyes for easy adjustment as you rib cage returns to normal, cotton lining to help keep your breasts cool, supportive well constructed cups, strong elastics and a sturdy back band for added support.
Many mums find nursing pillows very helpful in supporting their baby whilst breastfeeding. These specially designed pillows assist with breastfeeding as it brings the baby closer to the breast and encouraging a proper latch.
Should you not have a specialist-nursing pillow, a regular pillow will work just as well.
Positions for Breastfeeding
Choose a position that is comfortable for both you and baby. Make sure you have a large glass of water next to you as breastfeeding can take some time to start with. Keeping hydrated and comfortable is key.
Various breastfeeding positions:
Cradle – The baby’s head is on your forearm and the mouth is opposite the nipple
Transitional cross-cradle position – The baby is lying along the forearm and the upper back and neck is supported by the mother’s hand
Football hold – The baby is at the side supported by arm as in transitional with the baby’s legs stretched out behind the mother
Lying down on your side – The baby’s tummy is lying against the mother’s stomach
- Don’t forget which breast you last fed with
- Don’t pull your baby off whilst breastfeeding as it will irritate the nipple. Instead little finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth to break the suction.
- Eat a well balanced diet whilst breastfeeding to keep a good amount of production of milk.
- Use a breast pump to store milk
- Use breast pads to soak up any leaking milk after feeding
- If you experience any irritations or any signs of your skin turning red on the breast and feeling harder than normal, consult with your doctor as you may have a breast infection.
For more information you can visit your nearest breastfeeding association in your country.
Ask for help if you need it
For new mothers breastfeeding can often be a daunting task.
Most hospitals host breastfeeding classes and have lactation consultants available. These classes are invaluable and will guide you through the process i.e. Latching techniques, breastfeeding position, nutritional advise for breastfeeding women etc.
It is important to know that breastfeeding does not always come easy to every women and that extra help should be sought if required. There is no shame in asking and perseverance will be rewarded. Remember the first few weeks are the hardest- it does get easier.
Bloggers get real and discuss their breastfeeding experience
We asked our favorite bloggers two breastfeeding questions and here’s what they said.
1. What are your struggles with breastfeeding and how did you cope up with it?
2. What are your basic breastfeeding tips for first time moms?
Holly Homer of Kids Activity Blog
1. I was completely unprepared to breastfeed my first born. I lived in a small town and we were discharged from the hospital on a weekend. My baby didn’t take to breastfeeding and I had no breast pump. It was a rough time! My husband finally hunted down a pump on day two, but I would recommend having one before you give birth if you are thinking about breastfeeding. It really took the pressure off me – both physically and emotionally!
2. Relax and stop worrying about what you have been told or what other people think. This is your baby and your body. You are a mom and trust your instincts!
Blair Lonergan of The Seasoned Mom
1. My biggest struggle was learning that it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. You can breastfeed exclusively, you can formula-feed exclusively, you can pump exclusively — or you can do a combination of all of these. Every child is different and every mom’s circumstances are different. Figure out what works best for the two of you at this point in time and do it! No regrets, no second-guesses, just make it work for your family! I had three different babies in four years, and I fed each baby differently. They’re all healthy and thriving, which just goes to show that there’s no single “right way” to do things.
2. Realize that each baby is different, so don’t compare yourself (or your child) to the family next door. Some infants take to breastfeeding right away, while others need help learning. Some moms feel very natural with breastfeeding right away, while other women never do. It’s okay! You’re not a “good mom” or a “bad mom” based on how you feed your child, so be patient with yourself and your baby until you find a routine that works well for both of you. And then ignore what everyone else is doing and saying!