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TOP TIPS FOR FEEDING YOUR BABY
Being a new mum is quite challenging for most and feeding can be as equally challenging too!
We know that breastfeeding is the best option for the health and wellbeing for not only yourself, but your baby as well.
We also know that some mothers choose to bottle-fed their babies as they are unable to breastfeed.
Whether you plan to or are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby, here are a few tips to help you get started.
If you are pregnant:
• Prepare yourself for breastfeeding by attending specialised breastfeeding classes and seek guidance from family or friends that you know have successfully breastfed
• Breastfeeding classes may be available at your hospital, via your local Australian Breastfeeding Association branch or privately via Lactation Consultants
• There are plenty of websites and books available (see below) of which you will find helpful, see below for recommended books and websites as Dr. Google is your worst option rely on for any medical or breastfeeding information
If you are breastfeeding your baby:
• Almost all mothers will tell you that breastfeeding is extremely difficult to begin with and you are likely to need support as you won’t be able to figure it out on your own.
Most mothers regret not seeking specialist support earlier as most will
leave it when it is too late.
• It is normal for babies to breastfeed 8-10 times or more per 24 hours or demand breastfeeds 2-4 hourly night and day. This is because tiny tummies and growing bodies need a lot of milk to meet their developmental needs
• If you have had a breast reduction or breast augmentation, there is no reason why you can’t breastfeed and make breastmilk for your baby
• If you are unable to breastfeed, you will need to hire a hospital grade electric breast pump and express 8 or more times/ 24 hours (including overnight) to maintain your breastmilk supply and feed baby your breastmilk via cup or a bottle (see bottle-feeding for more information)
• The most common cause of breastfeeding difficulties such as painful latch is often caused by incorrect positioning and attachment or the presence of a tongue and/or upper lip tie. You will need to seek guidance and support from lactation consultants who are specialists in breastfeeding diagnostics and will provide you with a feeding management plan
• You can find a Lactation Consultant either by your hospital or by private consultation in the comfort & privacy of your own home, see weblink below for directory
• Ask your Midwife or Maternal and Child Health Nurse about local breastfeeding supports - you will need to ask if the Lactation Consultant/s have current certification with the International Board of Lactation Consultants (see weblink as below to check directory for Lactation Consultant certification status)
If you are bottle-feeding your baby:
• A lot of mums feel guilty at not being able to breastfeed their babies, if you are wanting help to re-establish breastfeeding, refer to tips for breastfeeding mothers as above
• Most mothers and babies can breastfeed, even if you haven't breastfed for several weeks or months. We support adoptive mothers to breastfeed, if they can do it, so can you!
• If you are bottle-feeding your baby and would like to feed your baby breastmilk, you can look into exclusive expressing with the support of a Lactation Consultant
• A lot of mums are combining breast & formula feeding or breastmilk & formula feeding. Some even choose to exclusively formula feed their babies. It is all about choosing feeding methods that work for you and your individual circumstances, and that is OK!
• There is limited research as to the best bottles and teats to use
• Anecdotally and with ongoing collaboration with Speech Pathologists whom specialise in infant feeding issues, we have found the following bottles and teats enable your baby to baby receive a natural flow of milk so that his or her immature digestive system is not easily overwhelmed:
Recommended books to read:
• 'Breastfeeding with Confidence', by Sue Cox
• 'Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers', by Nancy Mohrbacher
• 'Breastfeeding Simply', by Pinky McKay
• 'Best feeding: Why breastfeeding is best for you and your baby' by Mary Fischer, Chloe Renfrew & Suzanne Arms
Recommended websites to look at:
• Raising Children’s network
• Australian Breastfeeding Association
• The Royal Women’s Hospital
• The Royal Children’s Hospital
• Milk…early parenting support (website, Facebook & Twitter)
To find a qualified Private Lactation Consultant:
• Lactation Consultants of Australia & New Zealand (LCANZ) Directory
• Australian Breastfeeding Association National Helpline
To find out more about Lactation Consultants and how to verify their current certification status:
• International Board Lactation Consultant Examiners at iblce.org/verify/
This information is not to be replaced instead of that as advised by
your Doctor, Lactation Consultant or Speech Therapist.
I am not endorsed or receive any financial interest in the particular companies of which I have recommended bottles/teats
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Kellie Eason RN, RM, IBCLC
Nurse, Midwife, IBCLC, Infant Feeding Therapist, Birth & Parenting Educator, Baby Sleep & Settling Consultant