Breastfeeding: Handy tips I’ve learned so far

I had forgotten all sorts of things from breastfeeding first time around. Now that I’ve remembered a few I wanted to jot them down.  I’m sure that these things are probably totally obvious to other people but they weren’t to me!

1. Putting them down…

This wasn’t too much of a problem 1st time around but little lady number 2 definitely prefers to be held and cuddled. I’m all for cuddling babies but sometimes you are just desperate for a good sleep, a bath or to cook or eat a warm(ish) meal that you just need to be able to put them down.
I lay a blanket out on my lap and lie baby on on it. I then slip my arms under the blanket to pick her up. This way the blanket is all nice and warm and snuggly. I don’t wrap it around her because I don’t want her to get too warm and fall asleep before she’s full.
When I’m happy she’s finished I wrap her up and lay her down. I’m sure that the cold bed underneath her would wake her. Not this way.

2. Dealing with a wriggly eater…

Half of our battle to get latched is that the little lady gets her hands in the way. I tuck one little arm down underneath my boob – sort of around my body. As she gets bigger this arm will be under my arm.
To stop her top arm flying around I undo her baby grow and pull it down just a bit over that arm. This restrains it just enough to leave you free to help baby get a good latch.

3. Filling her up!

In the hope of longer gaps between feeds and therefore more sleep!

My little one loves snoozing on the boob and ends up grazing as a result rather than eating full ‘meals’.
So, before her bedtime feed I’ll whip her nappy off for a little while and let her have a kick about in the nude on the change mat. This really wakes her up and its good to get a bit of air to her bum! Then I only half dress her for the first part of her feed. This keeps her cooler and therefore awake for longer to get in as much milk as possible.

Midway through (usually after one boob) I burp her and put the rest of her clothes on. This wakes her up again as she’s usually started dozing as she fills up. I then pop her back on the boob for the last of her feed. When she slips off I know she’s full up and ready for bed.

4  Getting ahead of  the growth spurts

With each of my girls, growth spurts have meant feeding every 1.5/2hrs around the clock day and night. Very tiring!!!
After the first couple with baby no.1 and as soon as my milk came in with baby no.2 I discovered that expressing 2 or 3 ounces before any feed where I felt particularly full helped me to stay ahead. This way when I felt a growth spurt coming on I could stop the expressing that day and have extra milk available to fill baby up.

I also started drinking a couple of mugs of my nursing tea (recipe here) from the day my baby was born second time around. I’m sure this helped my milk to come in faster (day 2) and for there to be lots more of it. I really noticed a difference. At about three weeks old I discovered nursing cookies (recipe here). These were absolutely brilliant.

5. How to deal with all that time sitting around feeding.

Stock up on magazines, Box sets and snacks that you can eat with one hand. Buy a breastfeeding pillow to save your back and free up your hands and I’ve learned (using Youtube videos) to feed hands free using my stretchy wrap but I really wouldn’t bother if I didn’t have a two year old to care for too.

Most importantly make the most of it! You’ll soon be running around after a toddler and if you already have a toddler its a great excuse to sit down whenever there is anyone else about to help.

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