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Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

www.virginiathorley.com

Blog

Some breastfeeding 'hot tips' to share

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 8:09 PM
Welcome!
 
I am very new to writing blogs and so this page will develop as I learn. I thought I'd start with some tips about breastfeeding that I learnt long ago, and which can still prove useful - but not necessarily all at once. These tried and proven tips are not the only hot tips that can be useful, just four that I want to share today.
 
  • If in doubt - put to the breast.  Being at the breast can soothe, as well as provide milk.
  • A nap, or at least a daytime rest, can work wonders when you are at your wit's end.  It's so simple, but time and again I see the advantages of a nap in starting to turn things round.
  • While positioning of baby and mother is important, there is no 'one correct way'. In fact, the position or positions that work for you and your baby are the correct ones for you. If it looks strange, but it is comfortable and painfree and your baby is drinking, go for it!  (Of couse, if you need assistance, see my contact details.)
  • A baby's hands are part of the equation - in a positive way. For years I've observed how babies use their hands against the breast to stimulate the milk-ejection reflex (MER), also known as the 'let down'.  Calves and goat kids do it by head butting, but cows and nanny goats have leathery skin on their udders. Don't you think the human baby has a gentler way!
 
More about babies' hands and other ways they are involved in breastfeeding will be in a future blog.
 
When responding, please be respectful of others, just as you would expect respect.
 
Virginia
 

Categories: Some breastfeeding 'hot tips'

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25 Comments

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12:04 PM on December 4, 2013 
Breastfeeding is hard, especially until you get used to it, but studies show breast milk is not only the best nutrition for a babies and infants up to six months of age, but it can prevent several serious illnesses and save lives.
Reply Virginia Thorley
12:14 AM on December 5, 2013 
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Breastfeeding is hard, especially until you get used to it, but studies show breast milk is not only the best nutrition for a babies and infants up to six months of age, but it can prevent several serious illnesses and save lives.

Good points. Being part of a support group of more experienced breastfeeding mothers can provide confidence and practical support when needed, while lactation consultants can be trouble shooters for particular challenges.

Because breastfeeding is natural, people sometimes don't understand that it is a learning process. Starting to walk is also a natural process, and - unless there is a physical obstacle - all healthy babies achieve this. However, I've never seen a baby get up and walk on the first attempt! They keep trying till they get it.

Time and again I notice that mothers who have stuck with it through early challenges go on to find satisfaction from the breastfeeding relationship.

Sometimes the main worry with a first baby is not knowing what is normal newborn behaviour, because many of us don't have experience of very new babies till we have one ourselves. Sadly, strangers offer Old Wives Tales that don't help at all and don't have a basis in fact. Perhaps you will provide reassurance to friends who are pregnant or have new babies. A kind word, a smile, and a bit of encouragement can make a difference.
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3:33 AM on December 13, 2013 
If in doubt - put to the breast. Being at the breast can soothe, as well as provide milk.
Reply Virginia Thorley
4:01 AM on December 13, 2013 
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If in doubt - put to the breast. Being at the breast can soothe, as well as provide milk.

You are so right. Breastfeeding is a whole package, not just about the milk. The milk is important, but so is the skin-to-skin contact, the relationship, and more. It not only soothes a baby, it can soothe a mother, too.
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Reply Virginia Thorley
10:03 PM on January 27, 2014 
David, I haven't forgotten about adding something about hands. I shall do so soon. For too long there was a trend to treat baby's hand movements with suspicion - as something to be controlled, even pinned down. There was this attitude that the adult had to control. Instead we should be observing babies and thinking about WHY they use their hands. If it is an innate behaviour, it must have a purpose. So the sensible thing is to learn why and work WITH the baby to use what the baby knows to do. More information will appear on this blog in a new thread on Hands.
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This way, you can make an informed decision whether to breastfeed or not.
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7:54 AM on June 5, 2014 
While on this website, you might like to go to my FAQ page for more 'hot tips'.
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