Breastfeeding is not always instinctive and not always easy at first, but with the right help and support it can be a valuable and enjoyable experience for you and your baby.
The most important part of getting breastfeeding right at the start is the baby’s latch. A good latch prevents nipple soreness and ensures that the baby obtains the optimum amount of milk. A lactation consultation can assist by observing a feed and then offering advice to help perfect this.
The coolest thing about breast milk is that it is mother specific. Every woman produces slightly different breast milk, based on her personal biome, hormones and antibodies, but it is always made in exactly the right proportions of nutrients.
Nipple care: No specific nipple care is necessary but some women may find it is soothing to apply cream in the early days.
Breast pumps: There is an array of breast pumps available on the market but in the early weeks it is advisable not to use a mechanical pump if circumstances do not separate you and your baby. (i.e., NICU).
Hand expressing in the beginning will help with initial engorgement as the milk arrives, help soften the breast before latching the baby and can assist in avoiding mastitis. The consultation can help you master the technique of hand expression.
Tongue tie: In some instances a baby is born with tongue tie, a condition that can impede feeding and adequate draining of the breast. This can be checked for at your consultation and advice can be given about the simple procedure of releasing it.