Breastfeeding tips and advice covering a variety of common (and less common!) issues, plus lots of tips and advice.
Breastfeeding Tips and Advice
While no longer personally relevant to me, this section of my blog will always hold a very special place in my heart. I hope that the breastfeeding challenges I faced can become of value to other new mothers, and that’s why I’ve documented my journey with each of my girls.
No matter how difficult I found nursing at times, I will never regret my decision to continue for as long as I did, no matter the personal cost.
There are so many breastfeeding benefits, for both mother and baby, and these are not limited to the obvious ones associated with nutrition.
Advantages of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding your baby also:
- Is cheap;
- Is convenient;
- Provides many health benefits to baby;
- Reduces the risk of SIDS;
- Decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, obesity and certain cancers;
- Encourages bonding with your baby;
- Reduces risk of PND.
And that list is not exhaustive! For example, though this may not be important to every woman (and can be problematic for those wishing to extend their family) – I saw it as a huge advantage that I experienced breastfeeding-induced amenorrhea!
The myths surrounding breastfeeding are one of my greatest sources of frustration because they can often be blamed for women stopping nursing before they’d ideally choose to. And there are so many!
My impression is that these are often perpetuated by older generations of well-meaning relatives, perhaps before adequate guidance was available.
But it’s so prevalent and can be so harmful; I’ve attempted to dispel some of the most common myths in my post about how breastfeeding works.
Breastfeeding Health Problems – for You and Baby
- Symptoms of a milk allergy;
- Whether you can continue to breastfeed with confirmed CMPA;
- Why baby allergy testing is unreliable and how to confirm CMPA;
- Colic (oh god…)
- Whether baby probiotics are helpful;
- Blocked ducts / Mastitis / abscesses, etc (check out the best nursing products I’ve discovered which may help relieve symptoms);
- Breastfeeding and dehydration;
- Why sometimes breastfeeding hurts, even with a good latch;
- Leaking (though I’m one of the lucky ones – I never wore breast pads!);
- Stigma from and lack of education in others…
The list goes on…
But there is a positive byproduct of these breastfeeding obstacles: fantastic communities of like-minded parents are forged, and they’re only too willing to support and encourage each other to overcome their respective issues.
I’ve written a lot about the subject, including tips for:
- How to prepare for breastfeeding,
- How to breastfeed discreetly whilst gaining confidence,
- When to introduce a bottle to a breastfed baby, and the pace feeding technique,
- Tips on breastfeeding through the night,
- Plus nursing aversion how to know when it’s time to stop breastfeeding.
I’ve even released an ebook to help educate and empower women about how to breastfeed successfully.
Find more support for breastfeeding and CMPA.
Breastfeeding and Alcohol
I was supremely exasperated by the lack of accurate information available regarding breastfeeding and alcohol – specifically how much is safe.
I decided to research the crap out of it until I was satisfied with what I’d learned, and then I wrote about the truth of breastfeeding and alcohol. I hope my findings – one of my most popular posts to date – is a reliable resource for those wishing to continue living their lives within acceptable boundaries and without detriment to their infants.
The post also includes a free alcohol breastfeeding calculator to do the maths for you.
I wish it were not the case, but in spite of research and studies pointing towards the very great advantages of improving breastfeeding rates, we continue to deal with lack of education and support around the subject of breastfeeding.
I’ve written extensively on the topic, talking about a lack of help from healthcare professionals (particularly in reference to breastfeeding with allergies), some ignorant attitudes about nursing, plus breastfeeding etiquette and how men can be supportive without being creepy!
Breastfeeding and Mindfulness
From a personal perspective, though I can’t be absolutely sure that nursing my daughter is to thank, I believe breastfeeding helped my mental health during a very difficult time. Following a traumatic delivery I suffered PNA; but over time I’ve managed to completely change my mindset and have never been more content.
I wonder whether breastfeeding truly contributed to this change in me; either way, I’m so grateful for the life I live today. In fact, this positive attitude is one of the traits I wish to instil in my girls, and is a big part of my life now. My greatest hope for them is that they will thrive in a happy and relaxed environment, far away from the stress and anxiety I have known in the past.
I hope that any breastfeeding mamas will find a wealth of useful information within these breastfeeding posts.