22 June 2011

Nikki's Top Tips For Successful Breastfeeding!

The Lovely Nikki Khan, midwife, from advice service Greatvine.com has kindly provided some Top Tips for Successful Breastfeeding. You can view Nikki's profile on www.greatvine.com/nikki-khan and for some extra one to one advise you can call her advice line on: 0905 675 4618 (calls charged at £1.20/min from a BT Landline. Calls from other networks and mobiles may vary. 18+).

As you'll agree a great list of tips to help you through breastfeeding. We'd love to her your comments and if you have any great top tips for breastfeeding!

The Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life and from six months, babies need breastmilk alongside their solid food until they are at least a year old. After this time, babies can continue to breastfeed for as long as it suits you both. Breastfeeding gives your baby all the nutrients he/she desires for the first 6 months of life, helping to protect them from infections such as eczema and asthma to name but a few

The Early Days
Probably the best piece of advice in the early days after birth is to let your baby guide you to his/her demands feeding when hungry.  A feed within the first couple of hours of birth is the best time to give the first feed as your baby is often fairly alert after birth
The first milk is called colostrum and is yellow in colour and quite rich but small in amount. For this reason it is usual for babies to lose up to 10 % of their birthweight. The main milk supply will not come in until about the 3rd day postnatal. In those first days before your milk is established your baby may feed every 2- 4 hours
If your baby is premature and cannot breast feed straight away, start expressing as soon as possible to stimulate your supply and the hospital staff will be happy to help you
Expressing & Storing Breast Milk 
  • To maintain lactation by expressing you will need to express at least 6-8 times in 24 hours;
  • Can be by hand or with a hand pump or an electric or battery operated pump
  • Use sterile containers;
  • Milk can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days;
  • Breast milk can also be stored for up to 2 weeks in the ice compartment of a fridge or for up to 6 months in a freezer
How to Breastfeed
  • Ensure you are seated in a comfortable position with a drink nearby as you always get thirsty when breastfeeding!
  • Feed on demand to maintain an adequate milk supply
  • Don’t rush the feed!
  • Changing your baby’s nappy before a feed can make your baby more comfortable when feeding
  • Ensure that your baby’s head and body is in a straight line for feeding and she is well supported so he does not have to reach and have to stretch for his feed.;
  • ‘Nose to breast' – Your baby’s nose should be level with your nipple to achieve a good position for feeding;
  • ‘Rugby hold’ – Baby positioned under your arm, it is how twins are fed and is known as ‘tandem feeding’!
  • The 'Traditional' hold is when your baby is lying across your tummy when feeding. Wait for your baby to have a wide mouth before putting him to the breast, otherwise he could ‘work’ his way on to the breast and make your nipple sore;
  • When correctly positioned the nipple should be  toward the roof of your baby’s mouth
  • Your baby finishes the feed and comes off the breast on his ow
Milk Supply  
Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand so the more you feed the more milk you produce. 
  • Try to maintain the night feeds in the early days as this is when the prolactin levels are highest, so avoid supplementing night feeds with formula feeds s this may suppress your lactation.
  • With breastfeeding, your baby may be slower than bottle fed babies to gain weight but he/she should be gaining weight after the first two weeks.
  • After the first few days following birth, your baby should have at least six wet nappies a day and be passing a minimum of two yellow stools daily. This is called a ‘changing’ stool
Look After Yourself 
  • Drink 1.2 litres of fluid per day when breastfeeding
  • Eat regular as your calorific needs increase when breastfeeding and maintain  a well balanced diet
  • Ensure you get enough sleep, so sleep when your baby does, even during the day!
  • The Food standards Agency recommend taking a daily supplement of Vitamin D 10mcg
Possible Breastfeeding Problems 
Sore nipples 
  • Try different  positions such as alternating between the ‘rugby’ hold and the 'traditional' hold ;
  • Hand express some breast milk/colostrum on to the nipple. It has great healing properties;
  • Check positioning and ask for assistance if necessary
  • Occurs when your baby has not adequately emptied the breast;
  • Avoid supplements of formula;
  • Gentle massage of the breast can help
  • If your baby takes only one breast, you can alleviate engorgement of the breast that you are not using to feed by using a breast pump or by hand expressing milk.
  • Warm flannels on the breast can help to aid milk flow and cold compresses/flannels after a feed can be quite soothing
  • Mastitis is a condition that causes the breast tissue to become inflamed and usually affects only one breast, causing it to become painful, red and swollen. Symptoms can include such as a fever and flu-like symptoms.
  • More frequent feeding or expressing excess milk after a feed can help.
  • More serious cases of mastitis may need antibiotics.
Nikki's Emergency Tips 
  • Fennel Tea – It really works to stimulate your milk supply!
  • Cabbage leaves – can help engorged breasts after a feed and can be quite soothing if the cabbage leaves have been in the fridge!

Greatvine features many leading parenting experts offering advice by phone.

2 comments on "Nikki's Top Tips For Successful Breastfeeding!"

Very Bored in Catalunya on 24 June 2011 at 09:31 said...

Very good tips, I think I shall be printing these out and putting them in my hospital bag.

The Breastest News on 24 June 2011 at 21:43 said...

Great idea! The more help you can get the better so take everything you can get and ask as many questions as you can.

I rang the buzzer loads in the maternity hospital after I had given birth as I wanted to make sure I was doing it right!

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