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Tips & advice from Touchstone Breastfeeding to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, 1-7 August
According to experts worldwide, breastfeeding not only reduces your baby’s risk of illness and obesity but your own risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and it is also much better for the environment. It is therefore no surprise that there is a week dedicated to highlighting the benefits of breastfeeding.
To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from 1 – 7 August, experts at Touchstone Breastfeeding in Blackrock Hall Primary Care Centre (near Mahon Point) in Cork, have put together some helpful tips and advice to educate and inform expecting and new mothers. They believe that most women given time, support and the correct information can breastfeed successfully as it is a skill and an art that you and your baby need to acquire.
Tips for Breastfeeding:
· Try to breastfeed within the first hour or so of giving birth.
· Keep your baby with you as much as possible for the first week or so to bond.
· Breastfeed exclusively for at least six months.
· Appropriate complementary feeding should be gradually added at six months.
Signs that your baby is positioned well:
· Your baby’s chin, chest and knees face your body.
· Your baby’s mouth is open wide as in a yawn.
· Your baby’s tongue is over his/her lower gum.
· Your baby’s lips curl out like the lips of a fish.
· Your baby’s chin firmly touches your breast.
· Your baby’s nose and cheeks may lightly touch your breast.
· You hear or see your baby swallow when (s)he breastfeeds.
· Your nipples may look longer right after you breastfeed, but they should not be flattened or creased.
· If you feel pain, it should only be at the start of a feeding.
Reasons you might need to speak with a breastfeeding specialist:
· You want to learn as much as you can about breastfeeding.
· You had a hard time nursing a baby in the past.
· You are expecting more than one baby.
· You are expecting a sick baby.
· You know your baby will be early.
· You have had breast surgery and wonder if it will affect your breastfeeding.
· You think your breasts or nipples look off or are very different from each other.
· You worry that something about your health might make it difficult to breastfeed.
· You are diabetic and would like to breastfeed.
· You are having a hard time with breastfeeding.
· Your breasts or nipples hurt.
· Your baby is not gaining weight very well.
· You are worried about how your baby acts during or after feeding.
· You are worried that you might have too much or too little milk.
· You want to know how to keep a plentiful supply of milk.
· You and/or your baby are put into hospital during the time you should be nursing.
· Your baby has tongue tie or gut issues.
· You have insufficient glandular tissue.
· You want to know how to continue breastfeeding after you return to work.
· You want to know when and how to start feeding other foods to your baby.
Commenting on World Breastfeeding Week, Geraldine Cahill IBCLC, Lactation Consultant at Touchstone Breastfeeding, said, “Becoming a new parent is a very special time and you will want to do what is best for your baby. Making the decision to breastfeed is a very important one and can mean better health for you both now and in the future.”
“There is no comparison with formula as breast milk contains just the right amount of nutrients, antibodies and immunities that are designed specifically for babies. It also changes over time and throughout the day to respond to the needs of your baby, which of course formula does not”.
“I meet with expecting and new mothers daily, who are nervous about breastfeeding, unsure about techniques, or who previously found that breastfeeding did not work for them for some reason or other”.
“A common fear for women is that they feel they do not produce enough milk to feed their baby. However most mothers produce more than enough milk to satisfy their baby and the more a baby breastfeeds, the more breast milk a body will produce. Mothers just need to understand that breastfed babies have different eating patterns to formula-fed babies, so you cannot compare the two”.
“Mothers also often stop breastfeeding because they say it hurts. However although some tenderness is normal especially in the first few days, sharp or lingering pain that does not go away is not normal, so the mother should seek guidance from a breast feeding consultant if this happens”.
“Other women feel they cannot breastfeed when they go back to work. However if you talk to your employer and explain that all you need is 2 or 3, 15-minute breaks in a private area within an 8-hour working day to express your milk, most will be more than happy to facilitate this. You can also speak with a breastfeeding expert on any issues with pumping and storing.”
If you need information, guidance or support on any breastfeeding issues, contact Geraldine Cahill IBCLC at Touchstone Breastfeeding in Blackrock Hall Primary Healthcare on 021 423 1166. A private one-hour consultation at Touchstone costs €60 but there are a range of other in-home services also available.
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