Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things you can do for your child, but with obstacles seemingly against mums – lack of support from midwives who are few and far between or too busy to spend the required time with mums, mums going back to work and not having a suitable place to express milk (toilets are not suitable!) – it’s no wonder the majority of mums give up well before the advised six months.
If you’re a mum-to-be and are thinking about ways to keep breastfeeding your baby for as long as possible, or a mum who is currently breastfeeding, we’ve scoured high and low to give you the must-haves for successful breastfeeding.
Get your mind ready to breastfeed with a relaxation CD
Forget about all your worries and concerns about breastfeeding – listen to Natal Hypnotherapy’s Breastfeeding Companion CD. It is specially designed to guide and support mums through the process of breastfeeding and help to overcome any difficulties. Through deep relaxation, guided visualisation and practical advice, the Breastfeeding Companion CD increases mum?s confidence and ability to breastfeed successfully, helping her to trust in her ability to produce the right amount of milk, let go of any concerns and maximise her bonding with her baby.
Going back to work shouldn’t put a stop to breastfeeding. Yes, you won’t physically be with your baby all day, breastfeeding on demand, but if you express your breastmilk she’ll still get nature’s best. Some mums who experience difficulties with breastfeeding in the early days – trying to get a new baby latching on properly, for example – use a breast pump to express the milk and then feed baby with a bottle. Expressing also means you can get some much-needed rest by letting others feed your bundle of joy.
We tried out the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Freedom breast pump and the Tesco. The Tommee Tippee pump is easy to use, with just three simple parts to it. The cup is very soft and moulds to the shape of your breast so it is very comfortable to use – you barely notice it’s there.
The Tesco breast pump is a basic pump – it does the job and doesn’t cost the earth to buy – and comes with a free bottle.
Born Free the BPA-bottle makers don’t make breast pumps, but if you use their bottles, you can buy an adapter so you can attach it to your breast pump of choice.
Leaking breasts in the privacy of your own home can be uncomfortable enough – but they are not a good look in the office! We tried out the Tommee Tippee and the Tesco breast pads. For something basic when you are at home, the Tesco pads do the job well, and are great for small budgets (bulking up on breast pads can be costly), but they don’t have the sticky back so you can keep them in place, so you might try something like the Tommee Tippe pads for when you are leaving the house to avoid any embarrassments!
Sore and cracked nipples are said to be one of the most common reasons why mums give up on breastfeeding – the pain is just too much for them. But help is at hand. We tried out these brands and would highly recommend them:
- Biofem Instant Moisturising Balm – This is very soft and glides onto the skin, leaving it very soft and well-moisturised.
- Kamilosan – a very rich cream that smooths nicely into the skin.
- Inlight Nyp Soothing Nipple Balm – this is 100% organic and has a very nice smell, so can help take away the smell of stale milk from breast pads! This can apparently help to reduce stretch marks on breasts during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Vitamins and supplements
Sleep deprivation, lack of energy, poor diet…these can all impact on your health, and on your milk quality and production. You can give yourself a bit of a boost by taking a supplement that contains folic acid and iron. Vitabiotics has developed its Pregnacare breast-feeding supplemen which contains calcium and omega-3 to help you produce nutritious milk for your baby.
New research has revealed that Sun Chlorella ?A? can help you make sure your baby gets only the best bits from your breast milk by significantly reducing the transfer of toxins from you to your baby an can actually boost immunoglobulin levels, which protects against bacteria and viruses. Sun Chlorella contains all the essential amino acids, beta carotene, B12, B6 and D as well as folic acid, iron and fibre. Due to its CGF it also stimulates growth of good bacteria (Lactobacilli) four-fold once it?s absorbed.
One of the best things about breastfeeding is that you can feed your baby everywhere (in theory!) without having to warm up water, count how many scoops of formula, sterlise a mountain of bottles…
But as any breastfeeding mum knows, whipping out a bood to feed your baby in public will probably be met by horrifed staring – and you may find yourself being marched out of the establishment.
Nursing covers are a fantastic way to cover up while feeding your baby – that way you can actually brave taking your baby out in public without having to plan everything around the next feed! We tried out the Bebe au Lait, the Mamascarf and the Baby Babette nursing covers. They are handmade and are machine washable.
All nursing covers we tested come in nice trendy fabrics and are easy to use and wash. The Mamascarf comes in a soft, trendy material with a small pocket than can hold breast pads. We particularly liked the Bebe au Lait because it has a few extra features – a rigid neckline so you can see the baby while breastfeeding (rather than just covering up from neck down), a terry cloth pocket to wipe baby’s mouth and store things like breast pads (but not the whole box – it’s just a moderate size). This nursing cover was bigger than most, so on the days when you don’t feel like wearing the trusty ‘sensible shirt’ because you’re breastfeeding, you can lift your top up or down as far as you need and only you and baby will see. It’s also big enough to act as an impromptu blanket for baby or block out the sun.
Organised mums will know the planning required for storing up expressed milk. In comes the Count on It labels, so you’ll know how long your milk will keep. They are like scratch cards with dates on, so you just select the day and month and stick the label on.
Where to buy
Natal Hypnotherapy, www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk
Count on It, www.count-on-it.co.uk
Tommee Tippee, www.tommee.tippee.co.uk