It’s an exciting week of purpose in the world of parenting. Lactation Consultant, Carey Haupt, encourages us to join My Breastpump in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week.
This year’s theme continues to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We’re looking for different ways to #stepup to support breastfeeding. During the pandemic, breastfeeding support dropped drastically. Sadly, mothers could not have face-to-face breastfeeding support groups. Some antenatal preparation classes were cancelled or moved online, and partners could not attend doctor’s visits or, in certain instances, even the birth. Some mothers were alone in the hospital until discharge or isolated post-delivery to protect their newborns from Corona Virus exposure. These circumstances resulted in less breastfeeding support for mothers and their families.
Now’s the time to reinstate all the different types of breastfeeding support that we know work and is necessary for mothers. Simultaneously, new means of supporting moms that unfolded during the pandemic need to be incorporated.
My Breastpump has assembled some hacks to help mothers that want to breastfeed or pump.
Start learning about breastfeeding while you are pregnant.
The more you know about breastfeeding, the more empowered you will be to make informed choices about feeding your baby. Talk to your partner about how they can best support you.
Studies have shown that when a mother has a partner that supports breastfeeding, they are more likely to have a successful breastfeeding relationship. There are many different and supportive roles that partners can play with breastfeeding. Some examples are: they can support and help with latching, ensure the mom is comfortable and well hydrated during feeds, change nappies, and do bath time so that mom can rest.
Understanding breast milk production
Understanding breast milk production can help you with your breastfeeding. Learn how to increase your milk supply, manage engorgement and know that your body responds to your baby’s needs. Learn about prolactin and oxytocin and their role in milk production. Learn how to “flip on” your body’s breastfeeding switch. This knowledge will enhance your confidence concerning your breast milk-making abilities.
Learn how to breastfeed with a deep latch
Learning to breastfeed comfortably is key to enjoying breastfeeding and a good milk supply. Learn how to hold your baby, so you can get an excellent, comfortable deep latch, as this leads to shorter feeds while ensuring that your baby gets enough breast milk. A deep latch also prevents pain and many other complications that can happen with a shallow latch.
Know how to monitor your baby to see if they are getting enough milk.
Many mothers worry that they are not giving their baby enough milk or that their baby is hungry. With breastfeeding, there are ways to monitor how your baby is feeding and whether they are getting enough milk.
Know what to look for in a breast pump for the best results
Learn about the essential features and specs of the breast pump so you can buy the right breast pump for you. Elements that you should consider when purchasing a breast pump are:
Checking for a closed system, warranty duration, hospital grade and whether or not you’re able to double pump.
Learning a bit more about a pump leads to making the best-informed choice when you purchase your breast pump. So many mothers end up buying a second pump because the first one was not working correctly for them.
Learn how to store and manage your breast milk stash
Storage of breast milk is necessary because you do not want any of your milk to go to waste or use a breast milk storage bag that might burst while in the freezer.
Know when to ask for help and who to ask
As moms, we have been told to take on the supermom role and that we can do everything…this is not true. When you need help, ask for it. The same is true with breastfeeding and pumping. Asking for help can save your milk supply, increase your confidence and allow you to enjoy being a breastfeeding mom. Pop us a message, and we will help you find a lactation consultant near you.
Know your organisation’s HR policy concerning breastfeeding.
In South Africa, the law recommends that your workspace have breastfeeding breaks in a clean and safe environment. Ask your HR before you go on maternity leave what the policy is so that you are prepared and ready when you return to work. If there is no policy, you can work with them to ensure that you can express your breast milk.
Take one day at a time.
Taking one day at a time and living in the moment is a great way to spend your maternity leave. Focus on what you have achieved today with your breastfeeding, and you will be surprised how quickly the time flies.
Learn more about breastfeeding, pumping and support from Carey Haupt and My Breastpump at https://www.mybreastpump.co.za/content/workshops