My top 10 Breastfeeding tips

 As part of the ‘Keep Britain Breastfeeding’ campaign i’m sharing my top ten tips for a successful breastfeeding journey. I know i’m lucky in that my breastfeeding journey has been a relatively smooth one, but I know that it is not so for many people, so hopefully these tips will help anyone wanting to breastfeed, or in the early stages…

    • Do some research before your baby arrives! We only attended the Ante-natal classes through the hospital but one of the sessions covered breastfeeding and I wish I had bothered to do a bit more research online before she arrived as I spent a lot of time googling things on my phone during night feeds. I found the KellyMom website brilliantly helpful! I was lucky that Sam had paid attention in the ante-natal classes and reminded me of the ‘rugby ball’ hold in hospital which was prefect for me after a C-section.


    • It will be painful at first (sorry!) so arm yourself with nipple cream, breast pads and chocolate! Be warned the nipple cream needs warming up a bit before you apply it, stick the tube under your armpit for a little while! In the early days take a deep breath as your baby latches on, count to ten and hopefully the pain will have subsided. If it lasts for the whole feed once breastfeeding as been established then do seek help though!


    • Make sure your baby gets the ‘fatty’ hind milk during each feed, this is the ‘good stuff’ and has all the vital nutrients. If your baby falls asleep you can gently un latch them and re latch them, or tickle their feet, or gently tug their ears to awaken them!


    • Check your baby’s latch, to make sure they get a full mouthful and that the nipple is in the right part of their mouth you need to ‘plant’ them quite firmly onto your boob! There is a little animation here that will help. This will reduce pain and make things a lot easier!


    • You’ll need to make sure you drink plenty of fluids, and although you might desperately need a caffeine kick try to limit it in case it affects your baby! I read that if you abstained from caffeine when pregnant it will probably affect your baby more… I drank 1 or 2 cups of tea a day when I was pregnant and stick to that more or less now.


    • Speaking of affecting your baby… some foods can cause wind (and therefore pain) for your baby. I found that onions caused havoc until the 4th month or so and ended up avoiding them completely. I worked it out through a process of elimination, she had a couple of really bad bouts of wind and I worked out that the only thing I’d had both those times was onion!


    • Feeding on demand is the best way to establish a supply in the first few weeks. Be prepared to spend a lot of time sitting (or lying down) so make sure you have a large bottle of water and some cereal bars close to hand! A good book/the TV remote might be helpful too!


    • Experiment with feeding positions. Night feeds would have been a killer if we hadn’t mastered feeding lying down! Cushions help too for optimum comfortable positioning!


    • If you need help or support, ask for it! Ask friends who are breastfeeding, visit your local breastfeeding support group (your health visitor can give you details) and I’ve found that twitter is a wonderful source of help and support too!


  • Most importantly, enjoy it! It’s an incredibly bonding experience.



33 thoughts on “My top 10 Breastfeeding tips

  1. Nipple shields. With both my babies I would not have got past the first 2 weeks without them.
    With my first, she lost weight and I ended up bleeding due to a poor latch, however much every midwife told me it was good! My mum made my try the shields despite being reluctant to do so, and I never looked back. I used them for 4 months until she was beefy enough to latch to my seemingly odd shaped nipples, then got the help of a good nursing consultant to stop using them.
    With my second I knew the score, I didn’t wait until I was bleeding and him starving and so I started using them on day 2, however I did beat myself up for doing so, I managed to drop them around 8 weeks and we’re still going strong at 5 months. Unfortunately it’s very hard not to feel judged using them, hardcore breastfeeders seem to think you’re lazy or stupid for using them, or selfish for not riding through the bad latching and fixing it, you never see them mentioned on upmarket nursing supplies websites, but at the end of the day, if they help you feed your little one- what does it matter?!

    1. Hear hear! It really shouldn’t matter what you use to help you, the fact that you are doing it should be enough! Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  2. Thank you for this really helpful post. I’m 38 weeks pregnant with my first and I really want to breastfeed, for so many reasons. I want to give my baby the best possible start, I want to pass on antibodies and I want to have that special bond that is unique to myself and my son/daughter xx

  3. It is what women who have children do; it has incredible health benefits; the level of emotional and physical connection it brings about between mum and baby is like no other! It’s also free!

  4. Always wanted to breastfeed but wouldn’t have got through without support from my husband, midwife and local drop-in feeding clinic.

  5. first time, i think I thought i should, and it didn’t work out well ( i ran out of milk etc etc)! Second time, I wanted to and it was a great bonding experience – hence I want to do it again if i can!

  6. It’s good for the baby and it’s free! Those are my two top motivators. (I do love the idea of your breastmilk being so amazing for your baby, like tailored for them in terms of what they need…pretty cool.)

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