Breastfeeding comfort is achievable
Breastfeeding has been proven to be the healthiest form of nutrition for your baby. This isn’t to say that bottle feeding is inadequate or that doing so makes you less of a mum, but for the sake of boosting your baby’s immune system and for the sheer sake of economics (have you seen the prices formula lately?), breastfeeding is the choice of the majority of mothers around the world.
Breastfeeding made comfortable
Breastfeeding comfort – Various breastfeeding positions Image source
Catching on to breastfeeding comfort can be a bit tricky for new mums and their babies. Those first few days can be downright frustrating; babies learning to latch on, getting their bellies full before mum’s milk comes down, mums getting sufficient rest between feedings and keeping baby awake to get enough to last for three to four hours.
By finding the position that works best for you and your baby, however, you can lessen the anxiety and frustration; making feeding times sweet, relaxing times that no one can take from you.
Cradle your baby
Image source: iStock
The cradle hold is the most familiar way to hold a baby. The baby’s head will be resting in the crook of your elbow while you support their bottom with your hand. Baby will latch on to the breast on that same side. Once this is done, you can use your free hand to support your breast if necessary. This position works well for infants older than a month old who have no problem latching on.
The cross-cradle hold
In this position, you hold your baby’s head in your hand and cradle the rest of their body in your arm. You then position the baby against your body and hold them to the breast opposite the arm you are using to hold them. This is often the most comfortable means of breastfeeding for new babies –they find it easier to latch on in this position.
Lying on your side
Image source: iStock
Many mums find that by lying on their side and placing their baby beside them, the baby can latch on to the breast easily and feel less restricted. You will need to hold newborns close to help them stay latched on, but once they get the hang of things, no assistance should be necessary. I personally love this position as it allows me to rest. I find that this works especially well for night feeding if the baby is co-sleeping with you. You do not need to even pick up your baby.
Score! The Football Hold
Some mothers find that using both hands to secure their child to the breast is the most effective. This is often referred to as the ‘football hold’. When the baby is fussy or distracted, this may be necessary to get their attention back to the task at hand, but having a free hand to read a book or magazine while nursing your baby is nice, too.
Other helpful tips
The first week or two after the baby’s arrival, mothers need to have peace and quiet while nursing. This helps both of you relax. Set up a quiet corner or room for breastfeeding. This should be your little corner for breastfeeding and bonding with your newborn baby.
New mums will also enjoy having a nursing pillow to help cradle baby (relieving pressure off your arms). Many women find the U-shaped pillows particularly helpful for nursing.
Some women find it helps to have their feet raised on a footstool.
Have your nursing bras washed and ready if you haven’t already started wearing them.
Line up several button-down shirts or dresses to make nursing easier. In Singapore, many mummies love to wear tank tops with in-built bra paddings for easy nursing.
You may be tempted to use your mobile phone during breastfeeding. Recognise that this is great time of bonding with your little one. Hold his hands, sing a song, talk to him and just spend this time with your baby. Trust me, your baby will love you for it!
And don’t forget…nursing moms need to drink LOTS of water and eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits, veggies, low-fat protein and avoid spicy foods and foods that cause gas.
Need Help? Don’t fret!
When in doubt, please refer to a lactation consultant, who can offer you more personalised advice according to you and your baby’s situation.
theAsianparent also has a Singapore Breastfeeding Mums Support Group that you can join for mum-to-mum advice.