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Breastfeeding For New Mums
Inline with World Breastfeeding Week, we’ve created this breastfeeding guide to support new parents.
Every year from August 1 to August 7, people around the world celebrate World Breastfeeding Week - #WBW2022. An entire week dedicated to highlighting the importance of breastfeeding and improving the overall health of bubs and mums around the globe.
Before we go any further on this topic, we do want to do a quick shoutout to those who didn’t or can’t/couldn't breastfeed their baby. This week isn’t designed to make you feel inferior, but simply to encourage and educate governments, health systems, workplaces and communities to strengthen their capacity to provide and sustain breastfeeding-friendly environments for families.
Let’s dive into all things breasts and feeding.
What’s so great about breastfeeding?
Besides the fact that women’s bodies are incredible and produce a complete meal for their baby, right from their breasts, breastfeeding also comes with a mountain of other benefits:• It can help you and your baby bond
• It helps with bub’s brain development
• It can protect your baby from infections
• And, breastfeeding has many benefits for mums too! Including lower anxiety, increased bone strength, and decreased risk of heart disease
How do you breastfeed?
Although a natural part of motherhood, breastfeeding is no easy feat. It can take weeks, even months to get the hang of it, and it is so different for everyone.
So, let’s start with some basics…
How to hold your bub while breastfeeding?
There really is no right or wrong way to hold your baby while breastfeeding.
It all comes down to the position that you and your baby find most comfortable.
Here are a few popular positions that you might like to try:1. The cradle hold: In this position, you support your baby with the arm on the same side as the breast you’re feeding from.
2. The cross-cradle hold: In this position, you bring your baby across the front of your body - tummy to tummy.
3. The football hold: In this position, you hold your baby beside you, with your elbow bent.
4. Side-lying hold: In this position, you lay on your side and face your baby toward your breast.
How to know if your baby has latched properly?
Sometimes it’s hard to know if your baby has latched correctly and the feed is going well. Here are a few things to look for:• The latch should not feel uncomfortable – it should be more of a tugging sensation
• At first you should see short, rapid sucks. This is to stimulate your milk flow. Once milk starts flowing, your bub will suck more slowly and deeply
• You should see your baby’s jaw moving, and hear swallowing.
If you’re struggling with sensitive, cracked or sore nipples, Pigeon Natural Fit Nipple Shields are helpful for providing relief during feeds. They are thin and soft in design, are uniquely curved to maximise skin to skin contact, and suitable for all nipple shapes and sizes.
Flat or inverted nipples
Every nipple is unique. And sometimes a flat or inverted nipple can cause issues with latching. Our secret weapon is the Pigeon Nipple Puller which painlessly draws out your nipple, making it easier for your baby to find and latch on to.
How long should you nurse on each side?
A newborn will need to feed every 2-3 hours and usually spends 20-30 minutes on each breast. When your baby is around 3-4 months, they can empty a breast in a speedy 5-10 minutes!
To pump or not to pump
Pumping is a great way to get some freedom back when you need to be away from your baby for short periods of time, or just need a night off! It’s also a great way to help stimulate milk production in the early days of breastfeeding.
There are two types of pumps you can choose from:
• Manual Breast Pump: A hand operated pump that is used for one breast at a time.
• Electric Breast Pump: A electric-powered pump that you can use on both breasts at the same time.
Do you need to eat or exercise differently whilst breastfeeding?
The general rules of thumb are:
• Limiting your alcohol intake. Obviously no booze is the safest option
• Try and exercise regularly for your mental health. ‘Me time’ is so important right now.
• Eat everyday foods from all five food groups and increase your daily serves of veggies.
• Drink more water - You should aim to have around 10 cups of fluids a day, but you might need more on hot or humid days or if you're very active.
At Pigeon, we pledge to inform people about their role in strengthening the warm chain of support for breastfeeding in 2022.
If you’d like to learn more about World Breastfeeding Week and see how you too can be involved, visit https://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/#
And for more helpful info on all things mum and bub, visit our blog hub page.
For additional support & information on breastfeeding
13HEALTH (13 432584) is a phone line that provides health information, referral and services to the public. https:// www.qld.gov.au/health/contacts/advice/13health
Pregnancy, Birth & Baby Helpline 1800 882 436 (free call) offers free, confidential, professional information and counselling about conception, pregnancy, birthing and postnatal care. www.health.gov.au/pregnancyhelpline
Child Health Service provides newborn drop-in services, early feeding and support, child health clinics. Refer to www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/community-health/child-health-service for your nearest service
Women’s Health Queensland Wide 1800 017 676 (free call) offers health promotion, information and education service for women and health professionals throughout Queensland. www.womenshealth.org.au
Australian Breastfeeding Association 1800 686268 (breastfeeding helpline). Community based self-help group offers information, counselling, and support services, on breastfeeding issues http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au
Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ) provides information on when and how to access a lactation consultant https://www.lcanz.org/