Breastfeeding may be natural, but it is not always easy. As IBCLCs (International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants), the most common concerns we see include painful breastfeeding and worries about whether your baby is getting enough milk.
In this article, we outline our top 5 tips for breastfeeding and lactation.
Positioning, positioning, positioning – ouch, it hurts! Almost any breastfeeding issue can be improved with some work on positioning and baby’s latch. Going back to basics can help with a painful latch or with improving baby’s efficiency at getting milk during a feed.
A one to one with a trained breastfeeding specialist can really help here, helping you to use baby’s own feeding instincts to get a more comfortable and more effective latch.
Key performance indicators – how do you know that your baby is feeding well? inputs (number of feeds) & outputs (nappy appearance & numbers)
How can you tell if your baby is getting enough milk between weigh-ins? Look at the poos! Young breastfed babies usually produce between 3-5 yellow poos a day after the first week or so.
After about six weeks, the output might change to fewer, larger poos as your milk changes and your baby grows.
Milk supply – Help! Breasts don’t come with volume markers!
It can seem impossible to know how much milk your baby needs, and if you’ve got enough. Actually, your baby drives your milk supply by asking for milk as often as they need it!
Every time your baby feeds (or you express milk), that triggers your breasts to make more milk.
It’s a bit like the supermarket depot at a Bank Holiday: if it’s sunny, lots of people buy barbecue charcoal and sausages, and the computer in the supermarket pings that info over to the depot, who stock up on more charcoal and bangers.
Every time your baby feeds, they are pinging that message over to make more milk. If your supply isn’t responding as you would like, then it’s time for some detective work with an IBCLC, to get to the bottom of that.
Always, always feed the baby – if the key performance indicators are not happening then what’s your back-up plan?
IBCLC lactation consultants are trained to help you figure out why things aren’t going well, and how to address that – and we are also trained to help you find a way to give any supplemental milk to your baby too.
Get help and support quickly – It’s much easier to resolve difficulties early on.
IBCLCs are hugely experienced feeding specialists, in both everyday challenges and complex circumstances. We will work with you to find the right feeding plan for you and your baby.
At Nordic Balance Abbeville Road, Clapham we offer Lactation Consultations and support. IBCLC Lactation Specialists Sharon George is on hand to discuss your feeding options including positioning, expressing, and bottle-feeding, helping you to find the right way forward for your family.
I am so pleased I made the appointment to see Sharon, it was a real turning point in my breastfeeding journey. After a difficult birth and an extended stay in hospital, I initially found breastfeeding challenging and first saw Sharon when my son was two weeks old. I really valued her calm, practical and evidence based approach and after our first session together I was feeding my son comfortably and confidently at home and he was thriving as a result. Since then we have kept in touch with a follow up session and video consult which have been so helpful. As a first time Mum in a global pandemic I have been so grateful for her reassurance, from breastfeeding positions, to bottles, expressing and dream feeds- we have discussed it all and she is a true expert. Thank you! – Harriet, London
Sharon is supported by our resident Paediatric Osteopath, Julieann. Where necessary Julieann will review the mechanics and look to see if there are any structural issues, arising from the intrauterine lie and/or labour, that may be hampering the feed.
Such issues may also give rise to the common baby ills of Colic, Reflux and Wind. Learn more about Cranial Osteopathy.
Learn more about how we can support your family with our mother & child-focused Natural Therapies.
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