Breastfeeding Basics

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I’m 4 weeks in with my third child, but I would say this is my first breastfeeding experience. I didn’t breastfeed my twins for long enough to even post about it. I just remember it being painful and my milk supply being “low”. In hindsight, I probably didn’t try hard enough, but in my own defense, I had more than one baby.

Only 2% of women are actually physically unable to breastfeed. So for the other 98%, breastfeeding is difficult, rather than impossible.

I always knew that if I had another baby, I would “try harder” to breastfeed my newborn.

So far, so good. At the moment, baby Ivory is exclusively drinking breastmilk, but she is not exclusively breastfed from the boob. Don’t understand? Well…the two most common ways to feed your baby is to breastfeed: feeding baby from the nipple, or to bottle feed: using formula milk to feed baby from a bottle.

But what has worked best for me is a combination: my baby only drinks breastmilk, both from the direct source and from a baby bottle.

If you would like to breastfeed, but don’t know where to start, or you’re struggling, here are some tips I stand by:

Do it – the most effective way to establish a flow of breastfeeding, is to breastfeed!

Express – in the early days, during a feed, your baby may not drink all the milk in your breast, so try using a breast pump to express what is leftover (you can feed this to your baby for the next feed).

Alternate breasts – switch breasts after each feed, so that you have a good supply of milk in both breasts.  If you can’t remember which breast your baby fed from last, write it down if you have to.

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Avoid cracked nipples – Lansinoh cream is really good. I would compare it’s consistency to a lip balm. It’s really soothing and there’s no need to wipe it off before breastfeeding your baby.

Avoid leaking breasts – this is inevitable, but what you don’t want is a wet patch on your top from your leaking breasts! I use the Lansinoh breast pads, which I like because they have 2 sticky pads on the back as opposed to other breast pads I’ve tried which only have 1 sticky pad.

Sleep – breastfeeding is tiring and demanding. Try to get as much rest as possible.

Given all the above, if breastfeeding is not for you, there are many well respected brands that produce nutritional formula milk.

As always, thank you for reading.
Leandra

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