There’s a heck of a lot of pressure on new mums, who often feel overwhelmed as their worlds are
upended by an often ill-tempered little human.
After the trauma of actual childbirth comes the pressure to overcome any myriad of breastfeeding
challenges that will test your patience and self-belief.
Yes, breastfeeding is natural, but it is also notoriously difficult to come to grips with. In fact, one of
the most commonly searched nursing questions on Google is “why is breastfeeding so hard?’’.
Tips and tricks for when breastfeeding is hard
In recognition of this fact, timed to partner up with World Breastfeeding Week, we’ve put together
this list of tips and tricks to help new mums come to grips with breastfeeding their baby.
However, there’s a few points we’d like to make perfectly clear first:
Fed is best! While breastfeeding is wonderful, it’s not for everyone. Please don’t let
anyone bully you or make you feel inferior if breastfeeding is not for you. Some say breast
is best but in truth, fed is best.
And please always consult your doctor if your breasts become red, swollen and sore, if
you see bleeding or discharge from your nipples, or if your baby isn’t gaining weight.
Now without further ado, here’s our insider tips and tricks to help you through the early days of
Create a calm breastfeeding retreat. Before your little one arrives, why not invest in a little forward self-care by creating a soothing, comfortable nursing station for you and bub. Make it a calm area free of noise and light pollution, featuring a comfortable chair and a side table for nursing pads, snacks, water and your phone.
Involve your partner. When consulting with the experts before the birth, it doesn’t hurt to have
your partner there. When you are struggling to breastfeed, feeling stressed and sleep-deprived, they may prove handy at recalling the expert breastfeeding advice, or even step up as a problem-solver.
First-time positioning. While in your hospital bed, position yourselves skin to skin, nose to nipple,
belly to belly. Make sure that your baby’s stomach is touching yours, so she doesn’t have to turn her head to latch. And point your nipple at her nose, not at her mouth, so she’ll lift her head up, open her mouth wide, and latch on deeply.
Breastfeeding after C-section. Lying on your side to feed is great for those recovering from a C-
section, because it lets you rest your shoulders and lower back. By positioning a pillow between
your knees and your arm under your head, you can position your baby to face you.
Use a nursing stool. Sitting after childbirth can be terribly uncomfortable, especially if you had an
episiotomy. For a comfortable experience that provides relief, a nursing stool is a must.
Expert access. Before going home, make sure you have the number of someone you can call for
help, such as a local doula, midwife or lactation consultant.
Eat healthy and well. When breastfeeding, you’re going to need a further 1200kj than you did while pregnant. But don’t go overboard; more frequent, small and well-balanced meals with snacks should cover it. Also remember that good nutrition and hydration are of far greater influence on your milk production than the size of your breasts.
Position little feet. Babies will always feed more easily when they feel secure. If you take a minute
to tuck them into your tummy, a pillow or the arm of a chair, they are bound to suckle more reliably.
Soothe cracked sore nipples. Water-based hydrogels, organic coconut oil and lanolin-based creams are all proven remedies considered safe for babies.
Don’t push the back of baby’s head. Instead, guide your baby by putting your hand at the nape of
their neck. This will avoid triggering her instinct to resist and chomp down on your nipple.
Latched on while asleep. For those little ones who tend to fall asleep on the breast, you can try
stroking under the chin, ticking their feet or touching with a wet cloth.
How much milk is enough? If your baby is wetting six to eight diapers a day and gaining weight, they are very likely getting enough milk.
Delay introducing the dummy. It’s recommended that pacifiers not be introduced for the firsts
month, because they can suppress hunger cues during a critical period.
Seek professional advice. Tongue-tie is when the piece of skin under the baby’s tongue (called the frenulum) is tight, or shorter than normal. If you’re having pain even though your latch looks great, ask a lactation consultant whether this may be the cause.
Prevent blocked ducts. Baby carriers, nappy bags, even sleeping on the same side each night …
anything that puts pressure on part of your breasts can trigger blocked ducts.
A gift for breastfeeders. The humble nursing pillow is worth its weight in gold. It helps with
positioning and relieves stress on your shoulders and neck by wrapping around your body while
There’s an app for that. Instead of trying to remember all the information required for doctor’s
visits, there are some great breastfeeding tracking apps that do the job for you.
Call South Coastal Health and Community Services today!
Our experienced Midwife and Aboriginal Health Services offer you support during and after your
pregnancy. They can help you with:
In-home and clinic care before the birth (Antenatal)
GP Obstetrician check-ups
In-home and clinic care after the birth (Postnatal)
Transport to appointments
Support for dads
Please give our friendly team a call to see if we can help you (08) 9550 0900