Advice on breastfeeding
Choosing to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby is one of the most important decisions you will make. Regardless of your choice, our knowledgeable maternity staff will support you in your decision, and provide you with helpful information and resources during your stay at Buderim.
If you choose to bottle feed, our midwives will provide individual and accurate instruction on how to safely make up formula, and offer information on how much and how often to feed.
The first few weeks
Like most things that come with being a new mum, breastfeeding takes some practice. Don’t be discouraged if you and your baby don’t fall right into an easy feeding pattern. This is a learning experience for both of you.
One of the benefits of choosing Buderim Private Hospital is our in-room policy. Your baby will stay in your room with you from day one, so you can begin to recognise your baby’s feeding cues (licking lips, opening mouth, sticking tongue out or sucking sounds). Being together day and night will help you develop a feeding pattern more quickly. Plus our midwives are on standby to help you and your baby learn.
Before you leave the hospital, our midwives will have shown you how to:
- hold your baby to help latching
- how often and how much to feed
- how to express breastmilk.
A few things to keep in mind during the first week or so include:
- try to relax and concentrate on skin-to-skin contact
- you may experience some tenderness, but latch and feeding shouldn’t be painful
- feeding every couple of hours is normal
- stick to the breast – adding bottle feeds can cause nipple confusion
- watch your baby’s nappies – more dirty and wet nappies are a good sign
- watch your baby’s weight – a little bit of loss is normal at first, but your new baby should then start to steadily gain weight.
Common breastfeeding challenges
Timing and frequency of feeding: Breastfeeding is a commitment, particularly in the beginning when you and your baby are learning. Stick with it. Practice makes perfect, and it won’t be long before you and your baby develop a feeding schedule.
Pain: You may feel some pain when your baby latches on in the first few days, but this should go away after the first few minutes. After the first couple of weeks, pain and tenderness should disappear entirely. If feeding is painful, or if pain persists, speak to your doctor. It may be a sign of an infection.
Diet: It’s important to be mindful of your diet while breastfeeding, and keep careful track of what goes into your body. Any food, drink or medications you take in, could affect your breastmilk.
Mastitis or breast infection: If one or both of your breasts feel sore and hot to the touch with redness, you may have mastitis. Speak to your doctor if you experience these symptoms. You’ll likely need to be treated with antibiotics. Continue to feed or express, even if it’s painful. Regularly emptying your milk will help prevent infections.
Beyond the first few weeks
Beyond the first couple of weeks, breastfeeding should come naturally. You and your baby should begin to develop a schedule. During this time, make sure you also take care of yourself. It’s easy to focus solely on your baby, but your health is just as important. A healthy diet and exercise is key.
Once you fall into a groove with your baby, it’s a great time to look into socialising. Reach out to friends and family, or look into parent’s groups. This can be a great way to get out and about, find supportive people that can help out if needed, and share all of your excitement or concerns with people who are willing to listen and understand.