Having support when breast feeding is essential in order to make both yours and your baby's breast feeding journey run smoothly and easily. Having a supportive partner, family and friends as well as a great support group is a major benefit. Now before I had my first child, I really didn't have a clue about breast feeding other than the fact I wanted to do it.
I have breast fed two boys and I am going to share some of my secrets to success. So come on and lean in a little closer and I will let you in on a few tips...
Don't let anybody undermine you by saying 'oh they can't be hungry again they have only just fed', that really gets on my nerves! If you were bottle feeding and the baby hadn't finished its bottle and half an hour later decided to go back to it nobody would even question it. The reason for this is they can see the milk in the bottle. Drives me mad! Just trust your instincts and if you don't know why baby is unhappy just pop him/her on the boob. 99% of the time this has worked for me.
Stock up on savoy cabbages, they are great for relieving engorged boobs. Just put it in the fridge and then pop some in your bra. Sounds disgusting I know but it works a treat. You have to remember you are wearing it though as I have had a couple of embarrassing moments when it has fallen out in public! Not a good look. Plus because the milk is warm it does almost cook the cabbage but I promise it is well worth it. When we were first told about this tip my mum asked the midwife if I should eat it or wear it.
One of the key items in any mum's breast feeding wardrobe has to be the vest top! You can put any top on over the top and when you need to feed you will always have your tummy covered. It's fine to show some boobie but not many of us mummies want to flaunt our post pregnancy wobble.
Don't be embarrassed about feeding in public. This for me was much easier second time around and I wish I had more confidence when I had my first baby. Being able to feed anywhere is one of the major benefits of breast feeding so make the most of it. I feed anywhere and everywhere now and to be honest it is liberating. I always think if you can eat and drink out then so can my baby. Don't hide away in public toilets, you wouldn't eat your lunch there would you?
I learnt it was much easier to feed in public after one trip out with Dennis and Damien. I decided to feed Dennis in the car outside Asda but made the mistake of letting Damien sit in the drivers seat. He found he could belly flop the steering wheel and make the horn go off! He found this hysterical and just kept doing it. We happened to be right at the front of the shop and every time he did it everyone looked. He may have well be shouting out: "Mummy has her boobies out everyone take a look." needless to say, my attempt at being discrete was foiled and since then I just feed wherever.
There are several things which I have found essential for feeding. Firstly the magic cream in a purple tube. It's great for easing sore nipples and a must for any breast feeding mum.
Breast pads are also a must to avoid ending up with a drenched t-shirt not the best look I can tell you. I have been caught out a few times.
Also, a breast feeding neckless is essential. I wish I had known about these sooner because it really does stop you getting scratched to bits by those claw like nails. It's also great because they become less distracted. My one is from a fab company called Baby Beads www.babybeads.co.uk.
Enjoy it, before you know it they will be weaned and you will miss the closeness and snuggled up milk cuddles.
Remember to take it one day at a time and every day is a bonus! Keep the small picture in mind and try not to worry about the big picture just yet!
Also find out about your local support group, they are a life line. My local group is called bosom pals at waterside children centre and it is amazing. The staff are awesome and really offer great advice. The other yummy mummies are fantastic and it's a chilled out place to chat and feed in comfort! I can't recommend it enough. Make sure you find your local group!
There are also some fantastic websites out there and one of my lucky readers can choose a fantastic product from the fabulous lactovist website. I just need to work out how to do the competition! The company has some really cute t-shirts with slogans. Check it out and pick what you would like to win at www.lactovist.co.uk
It really does get easier the first few weeks are hard then it's like riding a bike. Promise!
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