Monday, 25 June 2018

5 Tips That Helped Me To Breastfeed As A Busy Mum



When it came to breastfeeding my children, I have to hold my hands up and admit - I was anything but a natural.

The choice to breastfeed was pretty much taken away from me with my first two children due to my health conditions and medications,so when my third came along at a time when my medications had been stopped - I felt determined to give it a good go.

I thought I'd prepared myself as much as possible, reading up on every bit of breastfeeding information I could find, but it turns out - breastfeeding is one of those things that really needs to be lived before you can truly understand it all and how it's going to work for you.

Having said that, one thing I did find super helpful was reading about people's lived experiences rather than reading the "Instructional manuals" I was leaning toward in the beginning. As a larger breasted woman and somebody who already had two very young children to look after, I found that the issues I was facing weren't often the ones that were covered in the books and so finding Tips posts and videos online was a god send for me.

So for that reason, I wanted to share some of the things that helped me when I was breastfeeding - particularly things that made it easier to breastfeed whilst also looking after a 1 and a 3 year old at the same time who were not breastfed, as this created a lot of challenges in itself.

So here are my Top 5 Tips For Busy Breastfeeding Mums

Tip 1

Invest in a comfortable and well fitting nursing bra, as well as accessible tops/dresses and nightwear.

Honestly, I'm the kind of person who hates spending money on myself and I thought I'd be able to adapt just fine to breastfeeding in my normal clothes without needing to spend extra money on breastfeeding friendly clothing - but honestly, anything you can do to make life just that little bit simpler for yourself is worth the investment.

I often found myself breastfeeding my baby whilst also using my free hand to try and catch my toddler as he was dive bombing off the sofa, so being able to just unclip a quick strap and get boob access without having to partially undress or hold up a top at the same time made it all much more straightforward and meant that I could keep that all important toddler-catching hand free!

Tip 2

Using reminders to help me remember which breast I'd fed from last was a lifesaver for me as I suffer with a bad memory anyway, and trying to tell myself I'd which remember which one to switch to at the next feed whilst I also running around after 3 small children was just laughable...I could barely remember which child I was supposed to be feeding, nevermind which side from!

There are a number of nursing apps you can download to help with this, and I know a lot of people who swear by these but personally I found that I would usually forget where I'd put my phone so I couldn't always access the app when I needed to.

Instead I found that using a coloured wrist band was much easier, I simply switched the wristband to the right corresponding side each time - it only took seconds, and helped a lot!

Tip 3

When I first started breastfeeding, my son had tongue tie and so while we were waiting for help - I needed to start expressing right away in order to syringe feed him for a little while.

At first I found using a breast pump to be quite a strange experience and it took a little while for me to get going, I was only able to express a few drops at first but with regular use of an electric breast pump I was soon able to increase it considerably (I also took fenugreek tablets which seemed to really help too!).

However, as I was pumping at each feed through the night, I soon realised how noisy breast pumps could be and - much to my dismay - I found that using one upstairs meant my baby AND my toddlers were getting disturbed by the pump. Nightmare!

I've recently had chance to see for myself the amazing new Milk Genie Plus Breast Pump from Pumpables and I am SO impressed at how quiet it is...there is barely a sound and if only I'd had this back then, I know I would have been able to pump discreetly without disturbing anybody.

The Milk Genie Plus has a lot of other fantastic selling points in its favour too - it weighs just 230 grams and fits into pretty much any bag, making carrying it to work or wherever you need to be a breeze.

It also comes with 3 different flange sizes, making it a perfect fit for all women and it operates on a closed system too meaning that there is separation between the pump itself and the other parts. On an open pump system, bacteria can get into the pump itself whereas on a closed system it doesn't.

Pumpables also offer a "Fitting room" service where expert help is available to you 24/7 to support you in using your pump or even just with pumping in general - they will even arrange FaceTime calls to guide you through whatever issue you're having. Now that's dedication to customer service!

You can read more about Pumpables or buy a Milk Genie Plus here

Tip 4

Keeping older siblings entertained and nipping jealousy in the bud while breastfeeding a new baby can be tricky, and of course there will always be occasions when nothing you can do is going to stop the fact the moment your baby is breastfeeding will undoubtedly be the moment his older brother wants your help with something - but I found that trying to pre-empt sibling jealousy or boredom helped most of the time.

I kept a basket by the sofa (where I tended to do most of the feeds) and each day I'd make sure it had something new inside it - usually a selection of picture books, puzzles, toys etc. Then if one of my older boys came over wanting some attention while I was feeding, I'd suggest they bring over the basket and show me whats inside...this worked pretty well at distracting them and they were usually kept occupied by looking through what was in the basket for long enough for me to finish the feed.


Tip 5 

Never be afraid to ask for help. Especially in the early days while you're getting settled in to a routine.

Whether it's help with the older children if you have willing relatives around, or help from the professionals with establishing breastfeeding or with any problems they arise...never be afraid to reach out - your health visitor or GP are a good starting point, and should be able to point you in the right direction.

GIVEAWAY!



If you'd like to give the Pumpables Milk Genie Plus a go yourself, then you're in luck as I have one to give away to a lucky reader!

To be in with a chance of winning, just follow the link below to enter.

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Pumpables Milk Genie Plus Giveaway

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