Sunday, February 22, 2009

Advice for New Breastfeeding Mums

By Joanne Garrett

Public breastfeeding as a new mum can be daunting, but here are some helpful tips.

Wear helpful clothing: a loose fitting top which is short enough that you don't sit on it is great. It needs to be loose enough that you can easily lift it, and that it doesn't hitch up all the way round. Alternatively, breastfeeding tops are designed so that you can get feeding access without lifting your top. These are great if you want to wear a fitted or longish top. Designs vary, and the best ones are cut to flatter the New Mum shape - bigger around the boob and not clingy around the tummy.

A long wide scarf or a wrap can also be a useful aid as you latch baby on if you want to screen yourself from neighbours. Make sure you put one in your baby changing bags.

And of course, do remember your underwear! Nursing or maternity underwear is a must, you need to be able to unclip quickly, and get something that fits properly. Try on a few styles in a few different sizes. Try them all on, move about and keep only those that really fit and feel comfortable.

Try to anticipate when baby is hungry, don't wait for him to be crying. Most babies will have signs that they're hungry before they start screaming the place down and drawing everyone's attention to themselves and Mum. You'll soon learn the signs, and when you see them find a good spot and get him attached!

If on the other hand you have baby like my oldest who would go from sleeping angel to famished and screaming in less than 10 seconds, the best you can do is have an idea of when he's likely to be hungry and get ready. My little one was such a heavy sleeper I sometimes got him into place on my lap whilst still asleep, waited for him to wake up, then got him attached before he knew what had happened.

Find a good spot to stop: to start with at least you'll probably find it easier to feed sitting in a straight backed chair, perhaps in the corner so you can see who's around, and with a large glass of water to hand. Avoid noisy places if you have a very nosy baby as he'll be looking around (and trying to take your nipple with him) rather than concentrating on the job at hand. I like coffee shops, there's always somewhere to sit, drink is on hand, and you have something to do (eat muffins !) - 16651

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