BREASTFEEDING: 6 steps to help soften the struggles of nursing a newborn

Being a 24/7 milk machine isn’t easy. It takes some serious commitment, energy and a whole host of sacrifices that you might not have anticipated for. It is, however, endlessly rewarding, bonding and extremely convenient. So, how can we ease these difficulties, maximise the benefits and cherish the moments of the breastfeeding ‘journey’ (pardon the cliche)? One handed snacks Nursing is thirsty (and hungry) work, and increases your fluid and calorie requirements accordingly. Feeding times might end up being the only times you actually sit down, so it makes sense to multi task this time and use it for re-fuelling yourself, as well as your baby. As many a ravenous mother has learned the hard way, there is nothing more frustrating than wrappers, lids and general barriers to food when you only have one hand free to eat with. Make sure you have within grabbing distance some easy-access foods and a drink whenever you sit down to feed. Wholemeal biscuits, dried fruit and nuts are not only handy options, they also provide some of the key nutrients needed to help boost milk production. Access all areas Nothing is more stressful and likely to leave you in a panicked sweat than clothing that won’t undo fast or discreetly enough when a hungry, crying baby demands. Shelve anything with stubborn buttons and make zip up and fold down items your capsule wardrobe.  

Feeding support

Anyone who knows babies, knows that feeding isn’t always straightforward, with many an effort often involved in helping ensure feeding is both comfortable and efficient for baby. One breastfeeding support product that is trusted by many new mums is Care Co-Lactase drops, which helps to break down the lactose in breast and formula milk. The immature digestive system of babies can sometimes have trouble breaking down the lactose in milk into more simple sugars, and this is something that your doctor or health visitor can advise you more on, and if Co Lactase might be appropriate.

Get comfortable Nursing is sedentary business, so do whatever it takes to make yourself comfortable. A support product or Nursing Cushion can be moulded around your body and waist to provide a support for baby and you, leaving you with two free hands with which to eat, read, relax.... breathe! Self talk Night feeds can be tough, and it’s easy to feel resentful at being woken up, and at the toll it takes on your mind and body. There is little that can be done about this, but a bit of self-talk and reality checking goes a long way to not only making sleep deprivation survivable, but also - dare I say it – enjoyable. This approach touches on the mindfulness technique of tuning out of negative thoughts (‘not again!’ ‘I’m so tired!’) and instead focusing on positive, energy-affirming observations of the present moment (eg. baby’s soft skin, little fingers gripping your hand). It might all sound a bit ‘zen’, but when you’ve fallen from the exhausted tree and hit every branch on the way down, anything’s worth a shot, right? Cotton all the way Sleep is enough of a challenge if you’re a breastfeeding mum, without uncomfortable boobs added to the equation. Wear a soft cotton sleep bra which simply folds back rather than having lots of clips or hooks (not what you need at 2am). At a time when you’re probably more tuned in to even the slightest discomfort there is no nicer feeling in the world than a jersey bra, baggy t shirt and bed... even if only for a few short uninterrupted hours.

Sponsored by Care Co-Lactase infant drops