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a guide to breast feeding

feeding buyers guide

A guide to breastfeeding

Helpful tips and good advice to help you and your baby enjoy breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has many benefits for both you and your baby, but this doesn't mean you'll get the hang of it as soon as your baby is born. In fact it can be quite tricky to master at first, however with a bit of perseverance breastfeeding can become second nature to you both and you'll never want to stop! Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby, available on demand and at the right temperature, but it can often be daunting for new mums to know where to begin.

mums tell mums: breastfeeding tips

What you may need:

  • Nipple shields
  • Nipple cream
  • Breast cooling pads
  • Breastfeeding book

You might find these useful too:

Type of pumps

Manual breast pumps
  • helps with early days of breastfeeding when you may experience swollen and enlarged breasts
  • for occasional use
  • hand-operated
Electric breast pumps
  • quick and easy for regular expressing
  • ideal if you are planning to go back to work and keep breastfeeding
  • mains or battery operated

How To Keep Healthy Whilst Breastfeeding

Good preparation

  • Don't be afraid to ask for advice. During pregnancy, attend a local breastfeeding information class - your midwife will have the details - or contact your local NCT. The hospital you choose to give birth in may have breastfeeding classes you can attend so ask your midwife if these exist.
  • There are breastfeeding helplines that exist (all manned by mums who've breastfed or experts) who can talk to you about the problems you may be having ??some are listed below.
  • Ask friends who have successfully breastfed, for their top tips.
  • Check you are wearing the correct size support bra and get measured frequently during your pregnancy.
  • Buy your feeding bras in the last few weeks of pregnancy so you have the most comfortable fitting bra just after the birth of your baby.
  • Remember to eat a healthy diet and to eat frequently as you need more calories during breastfeeding than pregnancy.
  • Ask your midwife to help you position your baby correctly on the breast when you first start to feed.
  • Make sure you are sitting comfortably. Your baby's tummy should face your tummy. You may need to use a pillow to support your baby.

When it's right

  • When your baby is latched on properly he/she will draw much of the areola (dark area around the nipple) into the mouth with their tongue.
  • You should feel comfortable and your baby should be relaxed.
  • Your baby's chin will be touching your breast.
  • You can hear soft swallowing

Keep going

  • If it does not feel right, just start again
  • Take your time, and don't rush it
  • If necessary ask for help from your midwife or health visitor

Useful Numbers

  • NCT breastfeeding helpline 0300 330 0771 (lines open 08:00 - 22:00 7 days a week)
  • National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212