LONDON MUMS’ PRACTICAL TIPS AND TESTIMONIALS ON BREASTFEEDING

Collection of London Mums’ practical tips and testimonials on Breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding has been an emotional issue for me and for many other mums I know and whilst I am keen to support it wherever possible, during the awareness week I think it is important to be aware of the challenges as well as the all the good points!”

“Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing and I have enjoyed the last few months (once he learnt to suck!) with my baby as a result – more so I believe than if I had bottle fed from the start. I also feel very virtuous!”

“I found breastfeeding very difficult to start with and when I had to stop I felt terrible emotionally. Nobody tells you how difficult it can be. You are lead to believe that it is the most natural thing in the world and both you and baby will do it automatically. It can be very stressful and draining. I think that in the pre natal classes it should be explained that breastfeeding is not for everyone and there should be no pressure from the mid wives. It is a personal choice and a lot of mums start motherhood under a lot of pressure at an already emotional time.”

“I had assumed breastfeeding was easy as it is so heavily promoted. I have
found it easy relative to other mums but still it is not that easy! The
inconsistency of advice can make it very confusing at the start (eg one
midwife says one thing, another one the complete opposite).
I think there should be more about breastfeeding in antenatal classes (eg
how to do it, where to get help in the first few days home from hospital if
not working (eg NCT helpline, local breastfeeding advisors etc), how to
express/store milk, possible problems (eg mastitis, thrush).
I do think it is a shame that health visitors focus so much on breastfeeding
and do not necessarily give bottle feeding mums the same support.”

“Equal pressure to stop breastfeeding at six months, almost as to start in the first place!”

Mums’ opinions on how to get started

“I think there is probably too much pressure to breastfeed. For mothers who find it just impossible, or choose not to breastfeed, they can often be made to feel guilty, and that is not right. There needs to be a balance between actively encouraging mums to breastfeed because it is best for the baby, but supporting everyone and not making them feel guilty if they cannot / choose not to breastfeed.”

“Babies go through phases with feeding – it may get tough sometimes, but that phase always passes and it gets easier again. Once breastfeeding is established, it is far easier and less hassle than bottle feeding, although I think a combination of both gives maximum flexibility. Lansinoh nipple cream in the early days is the best! Use it after every feed whether it is sore or not, and it will protect you.”

“Just continue on breastfeeding as long as you can. I do find that the more stress you are the less you produce.”

“MY OVERRIDING THOUGHT IS THAT THE ADVICE PREGNANT MOTHERS ARE RECEIVING FROM THE NHS ON BF SHOULD BE CONSISTENT – EG ONE BREAST OR TWO, HOW OFTEN TO FEED,HOW TO DEAL WITH SORE NIPPLES ETC… I ALSO THINK IT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO HAVE ADVICE EARLY ON ON EXPRESSING AND HOW OFTEN A NEWBORN NEEDS TO BE FED. THE ADVICE I WAS GIVEN WAS TOTALLY MIXED AND LEFT ME WITH A JAUNDICED BABY – HAD I KNOWN I SHOULD WAKE TO FEED A NEWBORN EVERY 4 HOURS OR SO THIS WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED!”

“All I can say about breastfeeding, is that it is been one of the most
magical, rewarding experiences of my life. I cannot believe that my body has
sustained a life for nearly 6 months and nothing beats the feeling of a
sleepy, warm baby snuggled up against me at night (the 10pm feed, not the
4am one when I am not so keen!!)”

“Giving the baby a bottle quite early is really useful, either with
formula or breast milk to have a break and getting them use to it.drinking
lots of water helped my milk supply. electris breast pump was a god send
when I had mastitis!”

“Breastfeeding is a joy once it is established and supply is established
too. Rest/drink lots of water/and increase demand in 1st week of baby arrival
would have helped me more.”

“I think it is a good idea to introduce a bottle when the babies are very young even if you are breastfeeding. I introduced one in the first week and continued doing a bottle feed once a day until I was ready to stop breastfeeding, then I increased the bottles gradually as I dropped feeds. I know a lot of people who are struggling to get their babies to take a bottle now after 6 months of purely breastfeeding and they are wishing they introduced a bottle earlier.”

“Just because your friend can do it and finds it easy, lucky them, do not compare yourself. find out what works for you – for me giving my baby one or two bottles a day of either expressed or formula was brilliant and you should not feel guilty about that.”

“I have loved breastfeeding my baby. Actually, stopping breastfeeding her is taking me longer since I love that moment we have together. It is hard the thought of not being so essential in her life. My tips… well, I am very “pro feeding on demand”. I could feed anywhere, in any position, with people, on my own. I just felt confident about it and my baby noticed it. It is very reassuring for me knowing that I am giving her the best. No need of extra vitamins, or medicines. Breast milk has everything your baby needs.
By the way, I hardly recommend not using any strong shower gel different to the one you would normally use. My baby rejected me twice after using some lovely products on my skin. She would not feed for hours and would cry every time she approached me. So I had to have another shower with my normal shower gel … and everything went back to normal!”

“I would advise the introduction of a bottle of expressed milk or fomula
from very early on to avoid the battles of babies refusing the bottle.”

“Friends i know struggled so badly but felt terrible giving up. I think if a mum struggles they should be able to give up without feeling all the pressure to continue, and they too shld be supported, as what is bad for mum is going to be bad for baby anyway.”

“I WAS REALLY WORRIED THAT I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO BREASTFEED BUT AM SO GLAD
THAT WE HAVE MANAGED IT. I INITIALLY INTENDED TO DO 3 MONTHS BUT WILL NOW
CARRY ON AS LATE AS POSSIBLE UNTIL I RETURN TO WORK (5 MONTHS). I REALLY
RECOMMEND THE NCT BREASTFEEDING SESSION AS I THINK THAT REALLY HELPED ME
KNOW WHAT TO DO AS I DID NOT GET MUCH HELP IN HOSPITAL.”

“Breastfeeding is HARD – it is really sore sometimes and tiring and not always easy. No one told me this and it would have helped if I had been prepared for this. NCT told us breastfeeding was easy and that everyone could do it. Women who cannot breastfeed need just as much support, if not more. Even at nearly 6 months old my Health Visitor made me feel guilty for introducing top up formula to my baby..which I REALLY resent.”

“Tips on feeding – I always found a corner and used a large scarf or muslin to ensure I did not feel exposed. This was not as easy as my little girl got older and she just removed the muslin! Coffee shops seem to be the most popular place! And remember to think about feeding when you are choosing your outfits for special occasions!”

“When you are first getting used to it – use pillows to get the height and support right. You will be in that position for a very long time so it is important to get a nice “nest” where you can be totally comfortable and focus on the process. Have water and telephone to hand!”

“One major advantage of breastfeeding for me was the practicality of it. No bottles, no sterilizing equipment, no hassle when preparing to go out as you just need nappies and wipes for 6 months.”

“I am not very good waking up during the nights and breastfeeding allowed to put your baby on the breast in 5 sec in our bed. No need to go downstairs, prepare bottle with a starving baby. Most of the time, my daughter and I would fall back asleep happily together.
– The bond is unique and breastfeeding is a very special time between you and your baby
– The pain can be really sharp at the start but it usually goes away after one month and you forget about it.
– Once breastfeeding is established, try introducing a bottle (expressed or formula) in order to get some external help in feeding your baby.
– In the beginning, it is hard to know if your baby is getting enough. The only indicator is the weight gain.
– Opt for feeding on demand, your milk supply will adapt itself to the needs of your baby. Ignore the “every 3 hours rule” or even “babies should not feed at night” as feeding routines do not work with a new born before 3 months. It will take loads of stress away and make you and your baby satisfied.
Trust your instincts, follow your heart and RELAX, you are the only one who knows what is best for your child.
Books about strict feeding routines makes some mums feel inadequate, too soft and give a sense of failure. A contended infant happens when you answer its needs not when you try to follow a timed strict schedule.
I will advise new breastfeeding mums to throw away those books and to go with the flow for at least 4 months. There are enough worries and there is no need to add some by timing everything you do. Your baby will adjust to any routine you set after 6 months if you are consistent. At this age, she will be able to get the message.
– Stick with breastfeeding if you are enjoying it. There is no point if you are miserable. A happy mum often means a happy baby.”

“I found it hard to know about quantities and how often was enough etc. All the information I got was to just go with what your baby wants, but comparing this with all the advice for bottle feeding mothers, it seemed that the bottle fed babies were drinking a truck load in quantity perhaps than the others. Also, when it comes to weaning, hard to know how much is enough etc. I have read that babies can be fine on 3 feeds in 24 hours. Not much I think, but hey, not much information around either…….”

“The midwives in the hospital bizarrely told me that breastfed babies do not get winds! Well, I discovered that they very much do get winds (though to be fair they only really started in the second week) and good winding is the only way to get a baby to sleep. I also found it quite useful to breastfeed in a slightly unconventional manner, whereby my baby was as upright / vertical as possible while feeding, as this seemed to reduce her winds. The classic, virtually horizontal position tended to leave her a little more windy.”

Mums’opinions on milk supply and what to eat during breastfeeding

“Top tips – eat avocados – great for your milk. If your baby bis colicky look at your diet – try cutting out gassy veggies/dairy etc. Huggababy was the best thing for getting out of the house and for discreet breastfeeding along with the breastfeeding tops. Expect it to take up all of your time in the first few weeks and avoid supplementing – the baby needs to suck to create enough milk.”

“At the very start it will be difficult to find time to make proper meals so make sure you have lots of “instant” savoury foods to pick up. I used to make myself almost a packed lunch where I would put a selection of things in a plastic tub in the fridge so at feeding time I could just go to the fridge and pick out the tub. The types of food I had were:
– Cocktail sausage rolls
– Packed lunch cheese portions
– Ryvita or crispbreads
– Packs of sliced meat
– Cartons of Juice
– Yoghurt
– Small boxes of raisins
– Sachet of instant miso soup”

“You should go with your gut feeling and not be pressured into
going the route of bottle feeding which was in my case
by health visitors. Rather read up on how to increase your milk supply first which is what I only really learnt about afterwards after reading up loads.”

Secrets to succeed

“PATIENCE AND PRESISTENCE. REMEMBER YOUR MILK IS THE BEST FOR YOUR BABY”

“One word – persevere! I had so many different phases with breastfeeding and hated it at times because it was so frustrating. But I persevered and both me and my baby are very happy now that breastfeeding is totally established. It is so handy – for example when my baby is poorly (after injections/ colds) I can give her a quick comfort feed in the night to settle her. No need to make up bottles! Also I just think the health benefits are enormous I feel very lucky that I can feed her.”

“Relax and take your time and do not worry about anyone else!”

“It seemed to work for me to regularly express milk so I could always stay ahead of the demand.”

“Especially in the beginning I tried different positions for breastfeeding (lying down and the best: the rugby). Every time I felt that my boob hurt in some place I got babys chin to “massage” the area while feeding. Like this I never had any problems with mastitis or anything similar. I feel, at the moment, that I will definitely miss breatsfeeding my baby as it makes me feel so close to her and very special. And I am a bit afraid that I will loose my strongest power in case of “emergencies” (like feeding to calm the baby or using breastmilk for stuffy noses and pussy eyes instead of prescribed medicine).”

“Buy an electric pump so you can have the flexibility advantages while not compromising on what you feed your baby – electric makes it so much easier. If you are going to want to do this, start pumping very early on (I did within 2 weeks) and offer a bottle within 4-6 weeks at latest so they do not reject.”

“Nipple shields if you do not have good nipples. also teaches a baby to latch on well.”

“The way I remembered which breast was next was by inverting my wedding and engagement rings, engagement on top meant right boob, on bottom meant left. Saved wearing bracelets and pins!”

“Main top tip, is to relax and not get upset by things if it does not happen
straight away. If the baby is being difficult, ask some one else to take the
baby and soothe them and then try again. My baby was a very sucky baby and
would suckle for ages which got my milk up at the beginning and then I gave
her a dummy to stop her from taking too much and being sick a lot. My health
visitor has been very helpful and I have called her for advise on a couple
of occasions and she has helped to sort out a few problems.”

“Hospital advice was very very poor (basically due to staff shortage)
I couldnt have breastfed without support of health visitors and other mums ladies met at the breastfeeding cafe. My suggestion is to
persevere, it does get easier!”

Facebook Comments