Fed is best

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I want to start this blog post off by saying fed is best. That is the most important thing. This post is however going to cover everything breastfeeding related, and what has helped me on this journey. Breastfeeding is not easy. For some it comes natural and for others it is a daily struggle. With Hudson I was able to breastfeed until he was a year old. I stopped because I had to take medication for yellow fever as I was planning on going to Burundi to my friends wedding. My biggest concern when I was pregnant with Levi, was if I would have enough milk for him. having breastfed before, I also hoped that it would go as smoothly with Levi as it did with Hudson.

The very first time Levi latched on was in the hospital and it was perfect. We had no issues at all. Remember the tip I gave was to start caring for your nipples a few weeks prior to delivery. I used a Natralogic nipple cream twice a day to care for my nipples and I am still using it.

Breastfeeding is considered to be one of the most intimate of all human interactions. In those first few weeks it can be quite overwhelming, especially because you are the source of nutrition for your newborn. Always remember practice makes perfect, and to reach out if you feel like you are just “not getting it”. Breastfeeding is a personal journey and you shouldn’t feel ashamed if you require guidance and support. Your biggest supporter should be your husband or partner. It is so important to have that extra support by your side, especially when you are in doubt. Research has also shown that the more your partner is in support of your breastfeeding the longer you will feel encouraged to breastfeed.

For a first time Mom, it’s often difficult to know the signs of hunger. So watch out for the following:

Baby is sucking on tongue or lips during sleep; Baby is sucking on fingers; Baby is moving fist, hand and arms towards mouth; Baby is fussing or fidgeting while sleeping; Baby turns their head from side to side; Baby starts crying

Feeding patterns is the next thing that you have to remember. There are a few apps that you can use. I have included Apps, because its just so much easier to have it on your phone than to write it down.

Feed Baby Tracker on Google Play and Baby Tracker on Apple Play Store

During the day the nurses told me to feed every 2 hours and during the night to feed every 3 hours. Levi will be 8 weeks old on Thursday, and I am still sticking to this feeding pattern. All babies aren’t the same though. Some Mom’s feed on demand – when baby wakes up; and some Mom’s cluster feed. You have to find what works best for you. Again, if you aren’t sure, remember to ask your Pediatrician. Another thing that I did was to have Levi weighed weekly at our local Dischem. The nurses are very helpful and can give you advice as well, if your Pediatrician is not available. Believe me, it is so reassuring knowing that you baby is picking up weight, and it keeps the anxiety away when it comes to feeding.

Burping baby is something that is also not easy. I guess we are lucky in the sense that Levi burps on his own. We do not really have to do anything. Burping your baby will get rid of any excess air that he/she may have swallowed. Winds can be very uncomfortable, so it’s best to burp baby after every feed. Again, if you are a first time Mom, the nurses at the hospital will be able to assist you.

How can you tell of your baby is getting enough milk? You can tell if your baby is getting enough milk by checking his or her nappy. Let me explain. The colour of you baby’s urine in the first two weeks should be pale in colour. For the first two weeks, a baby can have as many wet nappies as his or her age in days (so five wet nappies on day five). Your baby’s first poo is called meconium and is black in color. It is quite sticky, so I suggest using vaseline as a bum cream those first few days. Once your milk has matured, your baby’s stool will be loose, yellow and will look like seeds. This too will change as your baby gets older.

Taking care of you. It is so important that you take care of your needs as well. Make sure that you are eating healthy and getting in plenty of nutrients, especially if you are breast feeding. Eat meals that contain enough protein, calcium, iron and vitamins. I use Yummy Mummy Lifestyle Collagen Protein Supplement.

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A lot of my friends have said that they love snacking while breastfeeding. Snack on the good stuff. I always make sure that there are nuts, fruits and yoghurt in the house. Stay away from those crisps and chocolates. Have I lost weight while breastfeeding? Yes, I have lost all the weight I picked up during pregnancy and some more. It’s important to remember that breastfeeding does not burn fat, bur rather uses the extra kilojoules to cover the needed energy to produce breastmilk. This week I am going to start doing mild forms of exercising. I am not doing this to “bounce back”, but I know that in order for to live healthy and be heathy I have to make a few changes.

Two things to help along your breastfeeding journey. NUK Nipple shields and NUK breast pads.

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  • Protecting sensitive nipples as you breastfeed
  • Wafer-thin silicone for flexible comfort
  • Unique triangular shape gives optimal skin contact and natural breastfeeding feel
  • Soft studs gently encourage milk flow
  • 3 holes
  • Size M = medium (20mm diameter opening)
  • 2 per pack
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Who to contact?

La Leche League

Breastfeeding Online

Milk Matters

PS: If you are able to get your nipples lasered whilst in hospital do it. Also, check with your medical aid, you might be able to claim the consultation fee back if you see a consultant.

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