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Breastfeeding

For reasons I have never been able to understand all midwives have their opinion on how to breastfeed. They contradict each other and you sort of have to smile and say "ok" then give Dad a node (and I will tell him what to do). 

Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth and slide it back till you feel the soft part. On your baby, that is where your nipple has to be placed. If it isnt far back enough then breast feeding will hurt. They call this "Latching" so take a deep breath and take the baby off and try again. It will take quite a few attempts (or it wont). Given that your baby has never breastfed before they dont know what they are doing. Yes it is natural, and boobs are smart, but your baby has no idea. They just know they want to suck. 

If you feel overwhelmed, you are in good company. 

Your BOOBS:

Your boobs do not know how many babies you have given birth to, so they rely on the sucking to work out how much they need to make. People call this "Cluster Feeding", it is where your baby cannot seem to get enough. It does not mean they are starving. They are just placing an order in with your boobs for some more milk. You might feel as though they are feeding so much it must be because you arent making enough. Not true. They are just putting an order in. The baby boomers were told by Dr Spoke to feed every 4 hours. That is bollocks. Do you get hungry the same way as everyone else in the whole world? no. So your baby will suck and demand your boobs make more. One breast might get larger than the other. You can put a lot of energy into trying to make your supply even. There is something to be said for swapping boobs often. Do your best to try not to think about it. Write it down "Left Boob 10 min, Right Boob 10 min", just know that this isnt required if it starts to worry you. Dont put honey on your boobs. 

If someone asks you how much milk you are giving your baby, there is no way to know. The general idea is that if you are getting wet nappies, then that is all you need to go off.

If someone says that your baby needs "a top up", they have no idea what they are saying. If you want to give your baby some formula it wont kill them.

Sometimes the baby just wants to sit and suck for a day. So put something on TV, get comfy and off you go. If people say that you should not feed a baby till they fall asleep, take or leave that advice. Newborns get tired from feeding. So they get a milk sleep. You can tickle their feet to wake them up. 

Day three your milk will come in. You might cry, that is normal. Your boobs might get hot, that is normal too. Put some water on a nappy, and stick it in the freezer, it will then be the perfect soothing solution to your boobs. Cabbage leaves is what our mothers and grandmother used. We have nappies. Same thing. 

It will get easier. Dont be hard on yourself. 

Dad

Breast feeding is quite taxing on Mum, emotionally, physically. So you need to do a few things

  1. advocate for Mum...tell people to back off if they make her emotional. 

  2. celebrate her choices and make sure she feels supported

  3. Midwives all have their own way to breasfeed, tell them to back off if they make mum doubt herself. 

  4. Any one who tells Mum what she is doing wrong, tell them to go away. 

  5. Make sure she has good posture, when she sits down to breastfeed, the first thing is to check her posture.

  6. Make sure she stays hydrated, she wont remember to drink water, so make sure she does

  7. if she want "Milk Cookies" these are cookies that people say help milk production. I dont know if they do or do not, but get them if she wants them. Get her food.

  8. Never ever ask her how much milk the baby has had, it is a stupid question, and she wont know the answer. 

  9. It is a supply and demand ratio, baby sucks to demand, boobs catch up with the supply. 

  10. She might start to worry that what she consumes the baby consumes. Breastmilk is like blood. When you eat cheese your blood isnt infected with cheese. Same with everything else. If she eats sushi and the baby has an upset tummy, that does not mean she needs to cut out sushi from her diet.

  11. Alcohol: pump and dump is a bit of a false statement. Just like blood, the alcohol will enter the milk and leave. There is an app where you can track if it is ok to feed again. 

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