Breastfeeding and some Practical Help
Kensington Midwives follow Christine Hill’s advice and we were happy to see the Duchess of Cambridge had met her antenatally and is doing the same. Here are the practical help tips for breastfeeding taken from Christine’s book, which we give to our new mums.
Take your baby up to the breast, not your breast down to the baby.
Put him on a pillow on your lap, or put your feet on a stool. This stops you leaning forward to feed and straining your back.
- Lie your baby on his side, close to your body, with his mouth close to your nipple. Look at the direction your nipple is pointing.
- Take your baby to your breast with his face aligned to the nipple direction so that your nipple and most of the areloa goes straight into his mouth.
- The pillow may need to be rearranged to support his head.
- Hold your baby with your hand behind his shoulders and one finger supporting his head gently don’t cup his head in the palm of your hand and push him to your breast as he may panic and instinctively pull away.
- When your baby is suckling, check there is no puckering in the skin around the nipple. If the tiny milk ducts are kinking, the milk flow will be interrupted.
- Because he has to breathe through his nose, check that this nose is not obstructed by the rest of your breast.
- Use both breasts at each feed. Transferring to a full second breast is rewarding and almost certainly results in a higher volume intake. After 10-20 minutes, wind him, change his nappy and offer him the second breast.
- Start with the breast that your baby finished on at his previous feed.
- A total feed time should not take longer than around 45 minutes. A baby takes most of the milk he need in the first 5 minutes.
- Most babies will need to be fed every 3 to 3 1/2 hours during the day and every 4 hours at night. He must have a minimum of 6, usually 7 feeds in a 24 hour period.
- Take 2 paracetamol with water every 4 hours
- Start each feed from the less painful nipple first.
- Try using a nipple shield for about 5 minutes at the start of the feed.
- If things get too bad, use an electric breast pump. Give the expressed breastmilk in a bottle.
- Allow nipple to dry, perhaps use a breast-shell from the chemist.
Supplementary feeds fill the stomach and reduce appetite, so reducing stimulation of the breast. Use of a teat or nipple shield may cause difficulty with attachment at the breast, so reducing the amount of milk your baby takes and, therefore, further milk production. Express breastmilk to top up feeds if necessary.
Good luck and have an enormous amount of patience. Each day will have its ups and downs, suddenly the pattern will emerge and you and your baby will be in tune with each other.