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How to Help a New Mum BF

We are super proud to have an article published in New Idea magazine, 1 August 2011.

media_newidea

Here's the tips that were published from an article we wrote for them.

Eight Tips for Support A Breastfeeding Mum

Breastfeeding is the most natural way for a mother to feed her baby, but for a new mum, it can be difficult.

Many women find it takes about six weeks to become comfortable breastfeeding and the early weeks are a vulnerable time and they need the support of their partners, family and friends.

How You Can Help a New Mum

1.       Encourage her to talk to her midwife. If she's having trouble getting the baby to latch properly, feeling pain, or just isn't sure if things are going the way they should do.

2.       Treat a new mum to a consultation with a lactation consultant following the birth so she has a professional she can turn to if needed.

3.       Help her set up a breastfeeding station. Put together a portable container containing a water bottle, energy bars, nipple cream, breast pads.

4.     Cook a healthy dinner for her once or twice a week for the first six weeks.  Cooking in bulk and freezing meals will not only help Mum, but ensure Baby is getting the nutrients needed too.

5.       If she asks you for advice or to share your experience, don't whitewash things - tell her truthfully that breastfeeding isn't always easy, but be positive about the benefits.

6.       If she feels that what she's doing isn't working, try to give her alternatives. Suggest different feeding positions, using a nipple shield, trying a breast pump, herbal teas to increase milk supply, etc. Be helpful but not pushy.

7.       Put together a list of local breastfeeding support groups, Plunket rooms, lactation consultants, and online resources such as the Breastmates website (www.breastmates.co.nz).

8.   Listen.  If she is really stressed out and upset, give her a chance to talk about it.

Frances McInnes is the owner of Breastmates, New Zealand's only maternity store focused on feeding. Frances is the mother of two boys, both of whom have been breast- and bottle-fed. For more information about feeding, tips, advice, and products check out www.breastmates.co.nz  and visit www.facebook.com/breastmates to find a supportive online community.

Some other tips we suggested were:

  • Offer to look after the baby while she sleeps.
  • Take the older kids out for the day