I love breastfeeding as I never dreamed of having such a rewarding experience. As a first time mom you are never warned about the real nature of breastfeeding.
Tali is 7 months in a week and we are still going strong breastfeeding. When we first started our journey we struggled as my supply was low and once my milk came in bubs was feeding on demand practically all day. What was the hardest part was having family members discourage me from breastfeeding saying she isn’t getting enuff she isn’t getting full why is she still small (she was overdue by 13 days and petite). However with the support of my fiancé cheering me on all the time we soldiered on. He helped me look for natural products to help increase my supply and I begun pumping to show family members how much I could produce and that bubs was getting more than enough. I still get discouraged now by others but I keep pressing on.
- Cluster feeding – It’s when a baby feeds very frequently or even continuously for a few hours. Commonly linked to growth spurts or developmental leaps
- Colostrum- This is your baby’s first meal from your breast, produced by your body in the first 3 days or so after the birth. It’s yellow, creamy and rich in nutrients.
- EBF (exclusively breastfeeding/fed) – nothing else passes that baby’s lips by way of food/drink than breastmilk
- Engorgement – Fullness, swelling, and enlargement of the boobs, can sometimes feel painful
- Feeding on demand – You feed your baby whenever they show you that they are hungry
- Foremilk – The first milk released during every feed. It’s the more watery, thirst-quenching part of the feed.
- Hindmilk – This is the higher-in-fat breastmilk that is available at the end of the feeding. Your baby gets more calories from this part of the milk
- Latching on – Latching on is when the baby takes the nipple and areola properly into his mouth to begin nursing
- Let-down – This is the process where the brain tells the body to produce milk and make it available in the breast. Like a milk ejection. It occurs when the baby’s sucking action on the breast sends a message to the brain
- Pumping – Pumping enables mothers to provide breastmilk for a caregiver to give to the baby while mom is away.
- Rooting reflex – You baby will snuffle around your chest looking for lunch, it’s your baby’s natural instinct to seek your breast
We started slowly weaning onto solids when she turned 6months, it is a different to say the least experience. A lot messier and takes up more time. She is slowly showing what flavours she loves and what she can’t stand.
Tali is still getting a lot of her food from breastmilk; so I thought it would be good to give 10 of my own personal tips that have helped me continue this journey.
- Breast pads are my are best friends and save me from having any leaky accidents. Make sure you change them frequently to keep fresh!
- Nipple cream, my poor nips get attacked so often but this saves them from being cracked and sore!
- Pumping first thing in the morning helps to ease any slight engorgement from not nursing as often, also get a lot of milk from that morning pump!
- Staying hydrated, who knew breastfeeding could make you so thirsty. I’m sure I go through a bottle or two during a long feed. Well breastmilk does contain a lot of water so makes sense.
- Galactagogue- these are a necessity, this is a food that promotes or increases your milk. My favs are: oatmeal, lactation cookies (contain fenugreek), chia seeds (helps boost my energy).
- If you are EBF always have a pumped breast milk in the freezer/fridge in case you want to pop out without bubs.
- If you have a fast flow tilt back when you first latch baby on so the milk comes out at a slower pace for baby to manage it. I still have my milk shooting and spraying out my boob but Taliyah is so used to it she tries to catch it.
- Eating small meals, breastfeeding makes you work up an appetite so eating smaller and healthy snacks during the day will stop you from piling on the dreaded weight!
- Hot flannels to ease engorgement, if you haven’t nursed for a few hours your boobs can feel so full, using a hot flannel will ease that feeling and also help a nice flow.
- Go at your own pace, you know your body best so don’t ever feel rushed or forced to speed up if you are nursing your baby out in public. Always feel comfortable when nursing in public with or without a cover!
My favourite positions (nursing that it)
Football holdThis is a position that I got taught in the hospital when we first started breastfeeding. It enabled a good latch, comfort on my arms (as I used a nursing pillow) and I could have full support of holding baby. This position is also really good for mothers who have had a c-section as baby’s body isn’t all pressed on your mark of wonder. With the football hold you still get that skin to skin.
Cradle holdNow this position I would say is practical, you don’t need any cushion aids, you can do it standing, you can do it anywhere at any time. Once Taliyah started to get bigger and stronger I needed to be able to hold her in a more firm position. This position also enables good latch, but what I love about this position is that I don’t feel forced to cover tt up when in public. This is because her head covers most of my boob, so if you are in a location and don’t feel as comfortable this is perfect.
Side-layingThis is my all time favourite position, why? Because I can lay down! Who knew you could feed a baby and be comfy in bed! This position is perfect for night time feeds as you don’t have to get up. Also great as you don’t have to carefully put bub to lay down fearing he/she will wake up if they’ve nursed to sleep (currently feeding Taliyah right now in this position). It’s also perfect if you are tired and find yourself nodding off sitting upright.
I love breastfeeding my TT as it gives me a great sense of accomplishment and achievement like I look at her reaching her milestones and growing strong and intelligent and realise it’s all from the liquid gold I’m giving her. It has created a bond that I never believed I would ever have with anyone and it is so rewarding know that not only did I carry her for ten months but I am know nurturing her outside of my womb. So to all mothers to be or new nursing mommas do not give up nursing you can do it!