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Breastfeeding Tips & Support

Tips and guide for breastfeeding
  1. Go easy on yourself

If you’re struggling to get the hang of breastfeeding, it can be reassuring to know that many women find it tough to begin with. It doesn’t always come naturally, so give yourself time. Don’t suffer in silence – there’s plenty of help out there so don’t be afraid to ask for it.


  1. Are you sitting comfortably?

If you’re not comfortable, chances are your baby isn’t either. And with feeds sometimes taking over an hour, you might want to invest in a breastfeeding chair. They often have an adjustable seating position and a rocking function so you can soothe your baby while you feed. Or why not try a V-shaped breastfeeding cushion to support your baby, so their head is at the right height to latch on.


  1. It’s all about positioning

You might need to try out a few breastfeeding positions before you find one that works. The cradle hold is a popular one: hold your baby across your lap with their tummy next to yours, supporting their body with your arm. Or try the rugby ball hold where you position your baby underarm, supporting their body with a pillow. For sleepy night feeds the side-lying hold is useful: lie down in bed facing each other so it’s easier for you to fall back to sleep afterwards. The laid-back position is, as the name suggests, nice and relaxed – your baby lies on your chest and will use its natural instincts to find the breast. Remember there are plenty more to try so ask your health visitor for advice.


  1. Latching on

Although it might be uncomfortable at times, breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, so if you’re experiencing pain it could be a sign that your baby isn’t latching on correctly. Your baby should be taking a big mouthful of breast when feeding, not just the nipple. Make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open before they latch on. The tongue, bottom lip and chin should touch your breast first and, if latched on correctly, your baby’s chin will be touching your breast, with their nose free. Your nipple should be at the back of your baby’s mouth with the rest of the mouth full of breast.


  1. Tongue-tie

If your baby is having trouble latching on despite trying different positions, you might want to check they haven’t got tongue-tie. This means that they can’t move their tongue forward easily. A quick check by your doctor will be able to diagnose this and if it continues to make things difficult, your baby might be offered a procedure to divide the tie.


  1. Cracked nipples

If your nipples are sore and cracked, you’ll want to get them healed as soon as possible. Try and give them some fresh air and don’t let them get too damp, as this can cause further damage. Use a lanolin cream or petroleum jelly to soothe them and try feeding on the uninjured nipple first before moving on to the sore one. Your baby might not suck as hard when the second breast is offered.


  1. Breast pads

Invest in a pack of breast pads to avoid damp patches from leaking breasts. These absorbent pads are inserted into your bra and will soak up any excess breast milk.


  1. Feeding bras

A comfortable feeding bra is an essential. Too tight and it will press on your breasts making them prone to blocked ducts or mastitis, too loose and your breasts won’t be getting the support they need.


  1. Express yourself

If you’re struggling to feed, or if your breasts feel engorged and uncomfortable, try expressing some breast milk so someone else can feed your little one. They’ll still be getting all the benefits of your milk but you get some time off. You can either express using your hand, or you can buy a manual or electric breast pump to speed things up.


  1. A problem shared

Remember you’re not alone. Open up to other moms and you’ll probably find they experienced similar problems and might be able to offer you some advice.



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