Tips For New Mothers Part One

The newborn days are magical, but there is one thing in particular that every new mother worries about; feeding. There are so many concerns that you may have when it comes to feeding your new baby, are they getting enough? How often should the baby be feeding? There are so many queries you may have. Below are some of my tips for new mothers on feeding your new baby.

Feeding your baby- Tips for New Mothers.

Feeding your baby how you want to can be a particularly emotive time. Everyone will have their own opinions and you may feel pushed into a feeding method that was not your preferred way. Do your research so that you can be informed on your decision. There are a lot of helpful groups out there, whichever way you choose.

Breastfeeding:

For some, breastfeeding is easy. But for others, it isn’t.

  1. Positioning is very important, not just for baby but for yourself. Before you sit down, make sure you have everything you may need. Some of the must haves to have handy are; a phone charger with a long lead, drinks, snacks, cushions and a couple of muslins.
  2. In those early days when everyone wants to come for newborn snuggles, it can be hard to catch your baby’s cues. A two week ban on visitors would, of course, be the ideal, but that rarely happens! Make sure that any visitors bring you food and are happy to do some washing, hoover up or put your bins out.
  3. Pop a notice on your door for the postmen to say that you may take longer to come to the door- this stops any inpatient consistent knocking!
  4. Wear easy to access clothes- the one up, one down outfit works well and can be practiced with a teddy in the mirror so that you feel comfortable feeding once your baby arrives without showing any skin if you are feeling nervous. An oversized shirt that you can unbutton from the bottom is a godsend, so are larger sized cardigans!
  5. Once you are in the swing of it, all you’ll need to do to leave the house is throw a couple of nappies into your bag. Most people outside of your home wouldn’t even know you’re breastfeeding unless they happen to look very closely, but I remember my first outside feed like it was yesterday!
  6. If you need guidance, here is a link to Lucy Ruddle’s Facebook page- she is an expert in breastfeeding and lactation.

A Mother Getting Ready To Breastfeed Her Baby

 Pumping:

Many mothers do not wish to feed directly, but also want to provide their little ones with breastmilk. Below are some tips for new mothers when it comes to pumping.

  1. A good quality, closed system pump will be your most important purchase. If you are bottle feeding from birth, there is usually no need to spend money on various types of bottle, pick one and stick to that brand. Sometimes the cheapest really can be the best!
  2. You’ll soon get into a routine of pumping every 2 hours in the early days and extending to 4 hours as time moves on. You may notice rises and dips in your supply as your baby grows and changes. You will also notice differences in colour and water content.  All are perfectly normal.

Supplemental Nursing System (SNS):

Some mothers who aren’t able to produce the quantity of milk they need, but still wish to breastfeed, use a SNS with great effect.  A tube is placed near the nipple and the baby latches on as normal. Donated milk, pumped milk or formula can be used and trickles down the tube so that your baby is fed happily.

Formula:

All formula is essentially the same, but everyone has a favourite brand. The same goes for bottles and sterilisers. Each tin will have the recommended way of preparing it and their websites have the correct recommended volumes. The manufacturer’s way is the best way. However, here are some formula tips for new mothers that may be helpful to you.

  1. You want to make sure that you have everything you need before sitting down with your baby to feed them their bottle. Remember to swap sides and feed your baby with your left hand and then the next one with your right.  This will mean that your baby uses one side of its body and then the other, keeping both sides strong.
  2. It may be a good idea to get a mini fridge and a small kettle for your bedroom so that night feeds are made up without having to move too far out of your bed!
  3. Or you can look into ready-made cartons for the night feeds if you have the budget.
  4. The NHS website has some great useful information about formula feeding and how to safely prep bottles.

A Mother Feeding Her Baby With A Bottle

Night feeds- Tips for New Mothers.

Newborns are extremely cute and good job too, because the regular wakes at night will be a strain on your mind and body. Here are some of my tips for new mothers:

  1. Remember that frequent wakings for milk and cuddles are perfectly natural. They are a defense against SIDs.
  2. You may hear about those unicorn babies who sleep through the night from birth, but memories are hazy and of course there are some babies who do just that…but the 99% of the other do not…and that is ok!
  3. Once you decide on your routine (strict, go with the flow or anything in-between) then feel happy and secure in your choices.
  4. Make time to rest when your baby rests if you are able to during the daytime.
  5. If you have a partner, ask them to cuddle baby whilst you go to bed early, or take baby for an early morning walk so you can sleep in for an hour.
  6. If you are on your own, consider going to bed a couple of nights a week alongside your baby, to grab a bit of extra sleep. The nights are long, but the years are short.
  7. The Lullaby Trust has a wealth of information to help guide you into ensuring your baby is sleeping safer.
  8. The NCT website has some helpful information on the 4th trimester which can help you through this phase.

Covid 19.

These are unprecedented times for new parents. Thankfully there is also a wealth of information out there to help new parents in these difficult times. There is so much information out there, and most of it can seem really scary! So I would advise to read information from trusted sources only and limit how much you read on it too. Here are some great resources below:

  1. The Lullaby Trust
  2. The Government website
  3. The NSPCC
  4. Cafcass
  5. NHS
  6. NCS

Covid 19 Written On Easter Eggs

I hope that this blog has given you some helpful advice and tips for new mothers when it comes to feeding your baby. Remember, no baby is the same and you should always go with your gut instinct too. If you need any more help or advice, please do get in touch.

If you would like to find out  more about Dorset Companions then read our Question and Answer Blog here. 

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