It’s Keep Britain Breastfeeding Week (#KBBF) and, as you know, we are huge advocates of breastfeeding here at Mama Designs HQ! The Mamascarf was invented after my own experiences of breastfeeding my baby Sam in public. I was quite self conscious breastfeeding in public and found that nothing I used to give me some privacy was effective. Blankets would overheat my baby, muslins and scarves would fall off or be pulled off and blocked my view of him. I wanted something that would allow me to see my baby, move him around if I needed to and if it could help to provide some support then that would be an added bonus as I always ended up with an aching arm and back. Also something that looked a bit more stylish than an old muslin.
I love that women have written to me, or messaged me, telling me that the Mamascarf gave them confidence to keep on breastfeeding! To celebrate, I wanted to feature a few of my own breastfeeding tips, plus tips from our lovely followers and fans, with the aim to hopefully helping more new mums along the way. So here are our Breastfeeding tips for #KBBF!
Over on our Facebook page we requested your tips, and you were more than happy to tell us what you thought. Judi told us her top tip was to relax and allow yourself time to get to know your baby, and for your baby to get to know you. She advises to ignore negative advice and stories, and to let family know that you are breastfeeding and would like support.
Penny told us that perseverance was key to her breastfeeding success. Her baby had latching issues and was unable to feed properly for five days, meaning that her supply was adversely affected. If you’re not sure about your latch or positioning, do contact your midwife or health visitor, or your local breastfeeding support line for advice.
Don’t compare yourself with other mothers. Helen told us that it doesn’t matter how easily (or not) other mothers seem to breastfeed, it is a hugely personal thing and not always as easy as you might think. That doesn’t mean you won’t get there though! Helen advises to take it feed by feed, and to find a local breastfeeding support group too.
There are ways that you can boost your supply. Ali told us that carrot juice before lunch worked for her, and there is lots of other advice on this here and here. The main thing to remember is to stay calm and remember that breast milk cannot be measured in the same way as formula. You need to be guided by your baby and trusset that when he/ she stops feeding they have had enough. Don’t be tempted to wean early because you think that your supply is too low and remember that it is extremely rare for your body to not produce enough milk for you own baby, and even more so to produce no milk at all. It’s also worth mentioning that supplementing with formula, even if just for a short while, is not the end of the world.
Eat well. It’s worth saying here that being prepared is also a good idea. Chelle (@chellemccann) told us that she makes smoothies in the morning that she can drink throughout the day- packed with healthy ingredients and nutrients to supplement baby. She also recommends freezing them for ice pops too- a great tip for the hot summer months. Chelle also says that she keeps a fruit bowl and a jug of water handy when she feeds, so that she is less likely to raid the fridge and more likely to relax as she feeds baby.
UK parent blogger, A Baby on Board has written an excellent post, entitled Breastfeeding hacks: tips for baby feeding which is well worth a read as there are some gems in there too. She recommends viewing breastfeeding as down time for both you and baby. So switch off the laptop, turn off your phone and relax. Have all that you need to hand, and put your feet up for a while. She also recommends investing in a good quality support pillow to ensure good posture during feeding. Great advice!
For more advice, information and support, the following sites are worth a visit:
What are your top tips for breastfeeding?