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Breastfeeding - What do you need?

You will see a lot of posts with a bunch of stuff for your feeding station, most of these are trying to sell you something... I like to keep it simple. I also don't want you to approach your breastfeeding journey thinking that you will require a load of STUFF to establish feeding but at the end of the day, the basics of breastfeeding are;

🌕 Your breasts...

Most people will have the ability to produce enough milk for their baby. There are some cases where circumstances may arise which interrupt this process, which can take a bit more support and perseverance to establish things

🌕 A baby who can remove the milk effectively...

The baby's ability to remove milk will have a much bigger impact on your supply than any potential anatomical issue with your breasts. The vacuum they create is one of the major determinants for milk removal and sometimes a bit of trouble shooting is required to find the right positioning to optimise latch

🌕 Good support (supportive partner, Midwife, Doula, IBCLC)

Having a great support network can be pivotal to helping you get through those early challenges. Well meaning friends or relatives love the throw away line "...Just give em' a bottle of formula, it won't hurt them..." and while that is technically true, it is one of the most undermining and unhelpful things to suggest to someone who is facing difficulties with feeding. Having people around you who are completely supportive of your breastfeeding goals and know what they're talking about, is invaluable

🌕 Perseverance

A bit of grit and dogged determination is sometimes what it takes to get through those early weeks. Never quit on a bad day!

🌕 About 6 weeks to get a good rhythm going...

After around 6 weeks, things tend to settle. You may think this seems like a loooong time, but it will disappear in the blink of an eye

🌕 Patience...

Breastfeeding takes time and we need to give it time. Don't set rigid time limits and don't watch the clock... the nights are long but the years are short

🌕Feeding station

Set yourself up a feeding station with everything you will need, that way you won't feel "stuck" and needing things that are out of reach. Have snacks that can sit in a container for a few days without perishing (nuts, popcorn, dried fruit etc..) or cut yourself up some fruit and veg to grab out when you feed, a thermos to keep your drink hot or cold, water, nipple cream - if you're using it, a milk catcher is handy if you have an over-active let down (it's a shame to waste the milk), a lamp that emits a soft red glow (salt lamp is good) as this colour isn't as stimulating to the brain, a blanket, pillows, a footrest, breastpads, lip balm and some face washers/a burp cloth

If you have other kids it is great to have a little basket of toys or books and a snack ready for them too, as some older siblings struggle when all of the attention is directed at this new demanding baby! It can also help to sit on the floor to feed so you can keep connected with your other child and they won't feel as left-out at feed time

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