Having a baby is a wonderful time but if you have decided to breastfeed your new addition it can also be a little bit stressful. Many mothers find the experience difficult at the beginning and it is important to realize that you’re not alone. We’ve been busy talking some Irish breastfeeding know-it-alls and from sore nipples to helpful classes we have tips to help you make your breastfeeding experience as enjoyable and comfortable as possible!
- Positioning your baby correctly can inspire a less-stressful and more comfortable time breastfeeding. Breastfeeding group La Leche recommend the cradle hold as the most comfortable way to breastfeed your lovely baby. Your baby should be lying on its side, so that you are completely tummy-to-tummy and your arm should be supporting your baby’s head and back.
- Make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open with its tongue down. Your baby’s lips should not be pursed around your nipple, but instead your nipple should be quite far into your baby’s mouth. According to La Leche, your baby should take your breast deeply into its mouth with more of your areola showing above the baby’s mouth then below.
- Relax and go with your natural instincts. All mothers and babies are different and it is important to develop your own rhythm. Don’t pay too much attention to the clock and take your time. Figure out what is right for you and your baby.
- Sore nipples can be annoying throughout your breastfeeding experience and if they persist, modified lanolin ointment can sooth your pain. The ointment is also baby-safe so it is the perfect way to make your experience more comfortable. Bepanthen ointment contains lanolin and is available in Boots. In the shower, wash your nipples with lukewarm water and avoid applying harsh, perfumed shower-gels onto inflamed and cracked nipples.
- Inform yourself. Read as much as you can on breastfeeding and bulk up your knowledge on the subject. Knowledge inspires confidence and this will help you and your baby as you build begin to build a routine and a rhythm. The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning by Martha Spears and Dr. William Sears is available on Amazon for €10.83.
- Wean your baby when it feels right, not because you feel you have to. Spokesperson from Irish Organisation Friends of Breastfeeding Chris Finn said there is a huge pressure on women to wean infants at as early as three months. “If mothers want to breastfeed longer than six months, longer than a year or two than why shouldn’t they be encouraged? It is good for mother and baby”
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many other new mothers who are experiencing breastfeeding for the first time too. Baby Blogger, Aine O’Sullivan of andmybaby.ie recommends that women should attend their local La Leche class if they are feeling lost with breastfeeding where they can get advice and help from other mothers.