Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Breastfeeding Support

I have been really lucky in the support I have been offered from services throughout my pregnancy.  I had a home visit from the breastfeeding support nurse, I was supposed to go to a group that she runs but due to my hip and back pain it hadn't been possible so she said she would visit me at home

Firstly the nurse seemed lovely!!! I felt like we got on really well from the start, which I think will definitely help when bump arrives.

The nurse brought along a breastfeeding doll and asked me what my main worries or questions were.  I explained my main worry was whether he would latch on and what position I am supposed to hold him.  We discussed the first hour after birth and how this is important to get baby feeding.  We discussed the kind of birth I am hoping for.  We then went on to discuss skin to skin contact and what ques bump will give that he is hungry.  Apparently baby can swallow mucus during labour and this can fill their belly, as it tastes horrid them might not want to eat.  When I notice bump nodding his head this is a cue he is trying to find the breast (like a bird pecking at the ground for worms).  I was shown how to move baby onto my breast and to ensure he is firmly attached.

We then discussed expressing, both by hand and with a pump.  Whilst I won't be expressing to feed bump until breastfeeding is established I might need to express a little if my breast gets full or to use a little breast milk to get baby interested in feeding.

We then discussed massaging the breast and what to do if I have have any lumps, this sounds painful!!

I then got my feeding pillow out and we talked about other positions that can be helpful, using the doll.

Some of the advice given to me:

- if you don't feel comfortable being topless after the birth wear a baggy tshirt or very loose nighty so you can put the baby on your skin whilst maintaining dignity.

- whilst you are in the shower get your partner to have skin to skin contact.  Again if he doesn't feel comfortable being topless make sure he has a baggy tshirt or shirt

- when in hospital if baby stirs try and put them on the breast - don't ssshh them to sleep

- don't hold the baby as you would if you were bottle feeding, have them facing you and make sure their nose is level with your nipple and they tilt back their head with a wide open mouth

- if you use a feeding pillow make sure it doesn't put the baby to high on your breast, push the pillow away from you a little if it does

- if you need to express use the heat of a bath or shower to get the milk flowing.  Heat compress also works

- as soon as you notice any redness or lumps massage these out of your breast, the longer you leave it the more painful it gets

I was then given a website with videos on to have a look at.   There is a group on a Friday morning which is for mums to get together, talk about breastfeeding but they also have people to come and talk about various topics.  It sounds really interesting and a great way for me and baby to get out and meet other people

I felt that the hour flew by and I learned loads and feel reassured that there is support available for me.  I am going to give it my best shot and see what happens