It is natural for a mother to want to breastfeed her baby. However, whilst we all know the benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and baby, some mums may face challenges and difficulties when they try. With some helpful guidance, practice and some helpful products this new challenge for mums can be made much easier.
Here are some great top tips you can offer new mums to help make breastfeeding easier and more comfortable:
- Ideally both mum and baby should be relaxed, however, this is not always easy if baby is crying and mum has already found breastfeeding difficult and has become tense. Encourage mum to find a quiet, calm and comfortable place to sit, where she can have her back well supported when seated. She may find it useful to use cushions for support. Next, mum can use a specially designed maternity pillow to bring baby to the level of her breast.
- Positioning baby correctly is the next step. There are a number of different positions mum can try before she finds the one that suit her and baby best, so she should be encouraged to try them all. Holding baby like a rugby ball with baby’s feet behind mum and their head to her breast may not be conventional but it works wonderfully for many mums. Cradling baby across the lap is a more customary approach; using the opposite arm to the breast that baby latches on to, for support of their little body. Either way, mum should ensure baby’s head is supported adequately. Using a maternity pillow is a great way to support and cradle baby in a way that is comfortable for baby whilst helping relieve the weight of holding baby for mum.
- Mums may find that lying on their side with their baby lying parallel works too. There is nothing wrong with this if it helps breastfeeding go smoothly. Just remind mum not to relax too much that she falls asleep.
- When mum and baby are both comfortable and positioned to begin, the next important step is to ensure a correct latching on, allowing baby to take the nipple and suckle accordingly. Baby needs to be encouraged to open their mouth wide allowing mum to position enough breast tissue along the tongue. A helpful tip is to tickle the baby on the cheek or around the mouth as this stimulates a natural reaction where the baby’s senses will smell, feel and see this and immediately respond.
- If milk is not already flowing, or ‘let-down’ has happened, massaging the nipple gently to stimulate a drop or two should encourage the baby to latch on.
- Mum should sense when there is no more milk or notice baby has fallen asleep and should then break the suction by putting a clean baby finger in the baby’s mouth to remove the breast. Mum can then proceed to the other side is baby is still hungry.
Mums will naturally worry if they are having difficulty in breastfeeding, so they should be reassured this is perfectly normal and happens to a lot of new mums. They should be encouraged not to worry if they cannot breastfeed according to exact custom and look to try alternative methods finding what works for both them and their baby.
To help with support, we recommend the new Mombo nursing pillow from trusted brand Comfort and Harmony. Mombo has a unique shape and a two-sided design called Firm2Soft, with each side offering a different experience. The firm side gives essential support for mum and her nursing baby. The soft side is extra cozy offering baby an inviting place for lounging or tummy time. And mombo is the only nursing pillow with a vibration feature, to give baby the ultimate soothing experience while lounging. Look for mombo’s assortment of pillow styles and slipcover fashions here. There are multiple slipcover fashions too. The Mombo maternity feeding pillow is great for dads who want to bottle feed baby too.