Enjoy the article by my colleague Diana Powell Bodrone, who works as an English-speaking midwife and lactation consultant in Paris.
Breastfeeding is a journey we take as mothers and having a few tips up ourselves can be helpful to make this journey more smooth.
My first tip I’d like to share is
1. Skin to Skin
Many of us have heard how important skin to skin is, but what is more important is UNINTRUPTED skin to skin contact. At the moment following birth our babies are placed on our chest and there we ooz oxytocin, the love hormone, our connection hormone. This moment safeguards our babies. It stimulates us to protect our babies. On the babies side it is where we transition quality under our mothers protection. We hold our baby, hear her heart beat and feel secure.
This transition period is not moments but it is a period where we rest, explore, crawl, roots, smell, lick and suck.
Our mothers milk flows for us, coats our digestive track so we are protected from pathogens. It is the start which will influence so much of our future.
To be interrupted can cause us fear, stress, cold and total confusion. So the main point is keep that baby of yours on your chest. SKIN to SKIN until after its first feed.
2. Baby Cues
How we interpret our babies signs is something that comes from just being together. This is also where much conflicting information happens “ Your baby is hungry” , You will spoil your baby”, ” It has wind” and so it goes on . Do you change the baby’s nappy before or during a feed? In the early weeks most babies need to be close and feed. So when a little one wakes up it is usually due to hunger, not a dirty nappy ( that comes later). So take it the cue is hunger. Stirring, mouthing, hand to mouth. Take a look at this infogramme.
3. Positioning and Attachment
There are many positions we can use but learning one or two in the early weeks is less confusing. No matter what position the principles are the same. We often use a ditty “ Nipple to nose – tummy to mummy”. When you are aiming your nipple to the upper part of the baby’s mouth it lets the baby lead with his chin. Chin touching the breast is very important, as the lower part of the mouth is the main area which transfers your milk. Tummy touching you is also important as it means the baby is close enough to be able to bring the breast deep enough into his mouth.
Don’t be tempted to lay your baby on the nursing pillow, as this prevents your baby from being really close. It also means you lean forward when giving your breast, this in turn leads to backache and cracked nipples. Lean back once your baby is on your breast. Put the pillow in after if you need. Your arms support baby, the pillow is for you.
4. The Forth Trimester
Read about what happens in the first month, it is a unique and very important period. Going well it sets you up for this breast feeding journey. Get help from people who have a good knowledge of breastfeeding. The earlier you have help when it is hard, the quicker the overwhelming situation settles and all your worries are alleviated. My parting word is read up on the “4th trimester” by Kimberly Ann Johnson and let yourself be in the moment.
Wishing you the best on this breastfeeding adventure.
About the author Diana Powell Bodrone
As a midwife and lactation consultant I have worked in many countries around the world.
Midwifery, Neonatal care, Lactation Consultancy, hospital and community work have each added many layers to my experience.
One of the positive aspects of my work is having the feeling that I am still travelling, as I meet and work with families from so many parts of the world… my adventure continues …..
Have a browse around my website www.sagefemmechevreuse.com
Facebook : The Paris community midwife and lactation consultant
Send me a text to +33 (0)6 86 54 29 92