If you are a new mother getting support on breastfeeding is so important as initially it can feel alien, confusing and frustrating to do and therefore you need a midwife to show you how to latch your baby and not hurt yourself in the process. Latching can take some time to master. Look for support groups in your area too.
If you are worried in the first few days about milk flow and intake you can get a blood test monitor for your baby from Boots which plugs into your phone and gjves a nice graph on blood sugar levels. My baby had her levels monitored for the first 12hours. She had very little milk and mainly slept but her blood sugars were perfect which suggested she didn’t need feeding.
Breastmilk is such a great food to give to your baby because:
· It’s free
· It’s nutrient rich
· It doesn’t upset your little ones tummy as much as bottle feed
· It’s more convenient than bottle feeding and its prep time
· It’s a natural antibiotic, I used it to clear baby sticky eye, by applying it to the tear ducts
· If you are poorly you produce antibodies that pass across the milk to help your baby fight off what you have
As a mother with a newborn of 5lb 8 ounces I wanted to make sure I could get some chub onto her to get her nice and fighting fit. They said she would lose upto 10% body weight initially, she lost about 4% and was back at her birth weight within 2 days (this can take 10-14 days on average). I am sure a lot of this was down to my survival kit below that helped with the breastmilk flow:
Biocare Pregnancy and Lactation Multi Take a good multivitamin suitable for breastfeeding, this will help replace general nutrient levels such as iron which can be low causing tiredness from bloodloss in childbirth. Vitamin A and zinc which helps with healing. Selenium to cross the breastmilk to support babies thyroid for metabolism (thyroid function is one of the tests the doctors did with the heal prick test on your baby). A few days after birth your babies own thyroid should function independently, prior to this they have your hormones circulating the system to support them.
Solgar Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) taking 3.5grams per day should increase milk flow within 1-3 days. For some woman it can take upto two weeks. You will know that you are taking enough if your urine and sweat has a maple syrup smell to it.
Botanicals Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) helps to tone your uterus back into shape and increases milk supply
Biocare Sea Plasma is more to support the circulation of lymphatic system to reduce risk of blockage and infection in the breast tissue. Sea plankton can also support the hormone prolactin which is produced to stimulate milk production.
Biocare Biomulsion Omegaplex contains omega 6 to increase your natural hormone synthesis, this is important to rebalance hormones to make you more relaxed, a more relaxed mum means more milk production. The omega 3 and 6 will also cross the breastmilk to support your baby brain development and give beautiful skin.
Lanolin get lots of it, and when you have got lots, get some more! This will save your nipples from getting sore cracked or hurting from any bruising
Foods to avoid and foods to enjoy
Eat healthy this will help with your sleep deprivation for the next couple of months, also what you eat will affect your babies taste buds, this has been tested with breastfeeding mothers eating garlic and carrots and their infants when weaning having a preference to these flavours.
Avoid chocolate you will give your child that unwanted sweet tooth, soothe cravings with nuts and seeds with fruit instead which will be rich in nutrients for your milk and will give you a boost in energy
Start the day with oats by making a porridge or muesli, Oats help to replenish lost iron levels for milk flow. Oats also contain tryptophan which increases happy hormones. A happy mother has an easier ‘let down’ on her milk supply
Avoid dairy this can prove difficult for your baby to digest if any of the protein lactose from milk goes into the breastmilk. One sign of this is colic.Neuners Organic Nursing tea Aniseed, fennel, verbena, caraway, (11%) fenugreek seeds this is caffeine free, caffeine is not advised in breastfeeding as it can affect your babies sleep.