5 Tips for exclusively breastfeeding

Exclusively breastfeeding is not an easy task but the benefits are so worth it! Here are some top tips I learnt from exclusively breastfeeding for 17 months, hoping it might help out a new mama out there somewhere.

Learn to ignore others’ opinions

In general when you first become a mum, you’ll get a lot of unwanted advice from family and friends. As much as I’m sure most of that advice comes from a loving place, it can get really (what’s the word I’m looking for)… annoying. For me, I was shocked at the strong opinions I was receiving about me choosing to exclusively breastfeed (meaning NO formula what so ever). I had some people constantly tell me that the breast milk is not enough and that baby needs some formula in order to grow, like wtf?! (Mind you, my boobs were literally exploding from how much milk I had at all times, and my baby was a normal healthy weight Alhamdulilah.) But people still felt the need to push their own experiences onto me. I was thankful that I didn’t have a hard time with breastfeeding (thank God) and that I had a full supply at all times. Anyway the point I’m trying to get to is: DO WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR BABY. Stand your ground and don’t get bullied into changing how you choose to feed your child.

Invest in a good breastfeeding pillow

OMG, what would I have done without my trusted feeding pillow. It’s safe to say that when you choose to exclusively breastfeed, you’ll spend A LOT of time sitting and feeding, which automatically can take a toll on your back. That’s why using a breastfeeding pillow with back support is a lifesaver. You don’t have to spend time faffing about with extra pillows and trying to get them to stay in the right position (especially when it’s 4am). It makes a huge difference to posture, anything to help relieve some lower back tension! These kinds of pillows can be more expensive than your average feeding pillow, but it comes with the added benefits of posture support (and pockets to place your snacks and phone 😆).

My Brest Friend

Keeping the supply up

One thing I was super grateful for was the fact that I never had any problem with having a low milk supply (Alhamdulilah). I know that it’s very common for nursing women to struggle with that. I think the 2 key things that helped me keep a full supply are :

    drinking LOADS of water while I nursed and also throughout the day (I’m talking minimum 3 litres)
    eating oatmeal (mostly) every morning for breakfast (oats are known to increase milk production)
    Something as simple as wearing the right bra (wireless and correct size) can aid in keeping your supply going smoothly

Invest in a good breast pump

I bought a breast pump very early on (you know at the stage when you’re over-buying things just because you’re a new mum) but I was actually really glad I did. When you choose to exclusively breastfeed you have to prepare yourself for how demanding it is; you are your baby’s ONLY source to nutrition. So of course eventually you’re going to need some time off without the baby and that’s when it’s so important to make sure you pump every now and then just to keep up the milk stock in the freezer. Having a breast pump provides a peace of mind knowing that your baby will be fed and full so you can enjoy some guilt free time away with friends or whatever else you choose to do. A tip for using the pump to get more milk out: have baby nurse on the other breast while you pump one breast, it worked like magic for me, fills the bottle right up! I chose to buy the Medela Mini Electric Pump it’s not the cheapest but the fact that you can use it both plugged in or with batteries AND it’s super small made it worthwhile for me.

Medela Mini Electrical Breast Pump

Feeding in public

When you choose to exclusively breastfeed you have to become adjusted to feeding in public because obviously yo baby gotta eat! For me, I felt really self conscious the first few times I had to feed in public. I quickly learnt a few tricks to help me get more comfortable. Firstly, it’s worth buying a breastfeeding cover, like the one here. They are so much easier to deal with than using just a scarf (it won’t stay put and it’ll keep sliding down) so I’d encourage new mums to just spend some money and invest. Another trick I learned was, instead of pulling down my top from the top (exposing most of the boob), it’s easier to lift or unbutton from the bottom because baby will end up covering most of the naked bits anyway. Here’s a pic to explain what I mean a little bit better:

Photo from istockphoto

I hope some of you new hooyos found the tips useful. I’m excited to share that this post is part of a ‘mummy collaboration week’ with a few other amazing mamas. We’ve all shared our tips and knowledge on certain topics of motherhood. Make sure to follow them on their platforms (see below) so that you don’t miss out on all the advice!

How did you find exclusively breastfeeding? Any more tips to add? Comment below and share 🙂

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