The Expert's Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding!

The Expert's Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding!
Michelle is wearing the 'Scoop Tee' in lilac.

For many women, breastfeeding can be too difficult a task. Some suffer from back-to-back bouts of mastitis, others have inverted nipples which can make every feed’s initial latch extremely painful, and there are some who struggle to establish supply. If a mother chooses not to breastfeed, or simply can’t due to a lack of supply, we at Cadenshae support you 100%. Fed is best in our eyes – not breast is best, because at the end of the day, a mama’s got to do what works for her. No two situations are the same, so you do you, for you and yours.

Breastfeeding does come naturally to some women though, and can be a wonderful, wholesome, not to mention, extremely convenient experience…but there’s another group who opt to breastfeed - those who stick at it, even when it’s proving extremely difficult. The struggle is real for these women, particularly in those first few months when they’re dealing with a gorgeous, cuddly, but somewhat floppy newborn!

Think of it like this - imagine rocking up to your first day at a new job and being told the future of the company’s health relies solely on you and your abilities. You’ve never done this job before, you haven’t even been trained, you don't know how the equipment works - but it’s all on you to keep things afloat! What? Oh and did we mention you’ll barely be paid to tackle the toughest job of your life? Well, the same can be said for nursing. New moms come face-to-face with this challenge each and every day…rock stars we mothers are, all of us, no matter which way we decide to keep the ‘business’ operational.

For those of you who don’t find the breastfeeding journey a cinch, we’ve reached out to our friend and lactation consultant, Julia Daly, who’s kindly provided us with some ‘top tips’ for new moms (and moms-to-be!) on breastfeeding. So, if you’re getting a teeny bit fed up (literally) with nursing, hopefully Julia can help you navigate your way through it so you can keep soldiering on (if you want to of course)!

Here’s Julia’s top 10 tips for breastfeeding mothers…we hope this helps!

1. Stay together after the birth. Immediate skin-on-skin promotes closeness and a strong hormonal response that is linked with breastfeeding success. It also helps to regulate your newborn’s body temperature and exposes them to beneficial bacteria from your skin. The good bacteria protect babies from infectious diseases and helps build their immune systems.

2. The first feed should be within the first hour of birth. This ‘magic hour’ releases breastfeeding hormones and provides emotional and physical benefits to both you and your baby. Research suggests babies who feed within the first hour of birth will go on to have less breastfeeding issues. 

3. Getting the positioning and attachment correct plays an important role in how much milk your baby gets and also prevents other breastfeeding problems, such as sore nipples. It’s important you both feel comfortable - and the first few days will provide the best opportunity for you and your baby to learn what works best and prevent potential challenges down the track.

Amelia is wearing the 'Bamboo Workout Tee' and the 'Classic Maternity Leggings' in black.

4. Mastitis (blocked and infected milk ducts) is a common breastfeeding issue amongst new mothers, and it can be painful. Avoid pressure on the breast by wearing clothing that is loose and comfortable. 

5. Wear a supportive bra. The incidence of mastitis is approximately 20% in the first six months after birth. One of the causes of mastitis is milk stasis, or restricted milk flow, which may be a result of too much pressure on a part of the breast, and that stops the milk flowing freely through the duct. Under-wired bras are best avoided - especially in the early months of breastfeeding - as they can put pressure on milk ducts and prevent sufficient drainage of milk, thus increasing the risk of blocked ducts and mastitis. Cadenshae's nursing sports bras are extremely supportive, comfortable, and come in a wide range of sizes and styles to suit different shaped women, but most importantly, they fit well and do not have an under-wire meaning less pressure is placed on the breast. No under-wire reduces the risk of blocked ducts and mastitis. Cadenshae bras are my recommended choice for breastfeeding mothers.

6. Select clothing that reduces pressure on the breast tissue which can lead to blocked ducts and potentially mastitis. When picking out pieces for your wardrobe, keep in mind that patterns, prints, and darker colors will help hide any unexpected leaks much better than solid or light colors. Try to stay away from tight-fitting tops and blouses which may be uncomfortable. Check out the Cadenshae range for some awesome options!

7. Feed on demand – while you’re establishing your supply, your baby should feed between 8-12 times in 24 hours. This is normal and will settle over time. Don’t schedule feeds. Frequent and effective feeding will help you to establish a good milk supply and good weight gains. 

8. Go to a breastfeeding class – be prepared. Attending an antenatal breastfeeding class will give you confidence as you’ll feel prepared and know what to expect, that way you know what to do if an issue arises.

9. I recommend avoiding expressing, dummies, nipple shields or teats for the first six weeks and just to feed on demand. When babies are exclusively breastfed, they need no other food or drink until (at least) six months of age. You can be confident that your baby is receiving enough breast milk in the early weeks if they have six or more heavy, wet nappies and at least one bowel motion a day. It’s also a good sign if your baby settles after most feeds. Only offer breastmilk (or formula) for the first six months as per World Health Organisation guidelines.

10. Be proud. If you breastfeed one day, one week, one month or one year - be proud! Any breastmilk is amazing! Trust your instincts – you will know if something isn’t right. Get help from a Lactation Consultant who listens to you, respects you and will help you achieve your goals.

Nikki is wearing the 'Smoothie Crop Bra' in confetti/black.

If you want to hear more from Julia, then tune in to her bimonthly ‘Live Q and A’ on the Cadenshae Facebook page. Check our social pages for when the next one will be! 

You’ve got this mamas…now go fill them up like a tick!

Written by Ellen Chisholm in conjunction with International Board Certified Lactation Consultant - Julia Daly.

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