5 breastfeeding hacks which ALL new mums absolutely need to know about
Oh, breastfeeding. There are so many things to say about it it would be hard to even get it into one little article.
So let's just settle on this: It is amazing. It is hard. And sometimes easy. It is good for your baby – and good for you.
But it can also take many new mams by surprise, just how much work is actually involved in feeding a mini human from your own boobs.
But fear not, ladies, we have rounded up some great hacks to make the amazing job you are doing just that little bit easier.
1. Download a Breastfeeding App
Much as you think you will stay on top of when you last fed your infant, trust me on this one: For the first few crazy, sleep-deprived months, you won't even remember if you have had a shower today, let alone the exact time you last nursed your baby.
In these digital times, however, you can just download a breastfeeding app that will remind you of this – as well as keep track of nappy changes, baby's weight gain and many more things that can be handy to keep on top of.
2. Put Together an Essentials Basket
For my baby shower when I was pregnant with my baby #1, my best friend (who had just at her second baby at that stage), put together a "breastfeeding basket" for me – and out of all the lovely things I was given that day, I can hand on heart say that this gift was the one I continued being grateful for months later.
At the time of opening it, I wasn't aware of how helpful this little basket of random things would be, but a couple of 45 minutes + breastfeeding sessions into motherhood, I realized the contents of my basket were a total lifesaver.
Filled with everything a mama will or might need while she is stuck on the sofa with a baby attached to her boob, my basket contained: Water bottles, snack bars, some fruit, a power adapter (to emergency charge my phone if it died mid feeding session), a couple of magazines, a book and a chocolate bar.
As time went on, I actually remembered to re-stock it and got into the habit of bringing the basket with me from bed to sofa to baby's room, wherever I was doing the next feed. Oh, and I also stuck the remote control in that basket, because nothing is as catastrophic as being stuck with baby on boob and realizing the TV is off...
3. Keep a hair bobbin on your hand
Usually, to try and figure out which boob my baby had fed from last, I would have to do a whole lot of squeezing my own breasts to determine which one contained more milk, and therefore needed to go next – as you do.
Until a friend taught me this genius hack: Keep a hair bobbin on your wrist and move it every time you feed, so that the location of the bobbin corresponds with the boob that is up next. So simple, so bloody genius.
4. Invest in a Breastfeeding Pillow
You may think that this is yet another one of those products that the forces of marketing tell you to buy when you are expecting, but that you really don't need, but actually, on this one, I would say buy.
Not only because the ergonomic design of these will make a lot of feeding positions much more comfortable for you and your back, but also because these are great for tummy time when you baby gets a little older. (Oh, and they are totally comfortable to use as a pillow for you too...)
5. Place a Footstool in Front of Your Breastfeeding Chair
If you’re having trouble keeping your baby’s head elevated, or finding a comfortable position when you feed, try propping your feet on a little stool or ottoman. It will help raise your knees up and often make you more comfortable, and, in turn, give your baby a better angle too.