About Me

A first time mum blogging the journey.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Breastfeeding and milk supply.

When you begin breastfeeding, your baby will be leaning how to latch properly.  It may all feel a little awkward at first, fumbling with nursing clips and breastfeeding pillows.  I only really started having success with feeding when I ditched the breastfeeding chair and pillow, relaxed and tried feeding her laying down in bed.  It felt very natural and because I was relaxed and still, Poppy started to get the hang of it.  The result of poor latching is sore nipples.  Once you have sore nipples the thought of feeding can become hard but I assure you as soon as your baby starts to latch properly the pain will go away but in the meantime I recommend using some nipple cream.  It is a life saver.  I used Derma Mum (superior protection) nipple balm. The key ingredient when looking for a good nipple cream is lanolin.  The derma cream was great and can be applied as often as required, you just need to wipe off any excess before feeding.  So if you are suffering, apply after every feed at the minimum.  

Another unusual tip (but really works) on sore nipples is too rub your own milk on to your nipples.  So if buying creams is out of the budget, expressing a little milk and gently rubbing over your entire nipple has a soothing effect. 

When your milk comes in your breasts will become engorged.  This can be very uncomfortable  especially at night with leaking breasts as well.  For quite a few weeks I slept in a nursing bra for support and constantly wore breast pads for leaking.  With time your supply will become in tune with your baby and you will not leak, in fact you will no longer need breast pads.  If you do become engorged this is due to having lots of milk, so the only way to solve this is by feeding your baby, so to begin with try to alternate which breast your baby feeds from to make sure both breasts get emptied.  If you don't relieve engorged breasts you may get blocked ducts and your skin will become red and sore this can then lead to infection called mastisis.  Mastisis can be treated with antibiotics but that's the last thing you need when looking after a new baby so if you do get a blocked duct try to treat it as soon as possible.  For more information on blocked ducts and engorgement check out the link below:

I frequently had blocked ducts when I first started feeding Poppy but they would only last a day or less.  The most effective way to unblock a duct was to feed from the engorged breast until it is completely drained.  I do not recommend expressing the milk because your body will think you need to produce more milk which could lead to further engorgement.  If you are really uncomfortable try to express just a little by hand while waiting for your baby's next feed (the shower is good place to do this).  Try to make sure you nurse in different positions to ensure all ducts are emptied.  It is also important to fully empty breasts so that your baby drinks the fatty hind milk.

Nipple shields are quite effective for sore nipples too, however they are quite large and a bit of a hassle to wear.  The effectively make sure no material is touching the nipple and irritating it as well as expressing a little milk when engorged.  I used them once or twice but found using nipple cream much easier.  

In my next breastfeeding post I will talk about fore milk, hind milk and over supply.  

No comments:

Post a Comment