The truth about breastfeeding

Recently I discovered that breastfeeding is not just about the benefits for your baby, but it’s also been found to lower your risk of breast cancer [1].

Before Leo even entered the world, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I’d heard so much about the benefits of breastfeeding and how it was the ideal opportunity to bond with your baby. In my head, I had this romanticised picture of how it would be—feeling the mother and son connection on another level, a bond like no other! The truth about breastfeeding? Not as simple as I imagined.

Leo was born with a tongue-tie, a relatively common condition that 5% of babies are born with and it affects some babies more than others. It threatened to derail my rosy picture of being a happy breastfeeding mum. Leo was having problems latching on and sucking. I’m sure it was just as frustrating for him as it was for me, so he underwent a simple procedure to fix this. I say relatively simple procedures,  but I mean simple for the doctor not for me. I felt like my heart was in my throat the entire time, and if I’m truthful, I shed some tears but it was a necessity.  Tongue-ties can also result in other problems like not producing enough milk for bubs, speech problems later on in life and not gaining weight.

Breastfeeding has not come as easily as I hoped. I struggled with producing enough milk. It may have been related to the tongue-tie, but thanks to my community of amazing advice from Mamas and my own research I have managed to breastfeed two babies

Some other breastfeeding tips to help your milk production:

1. Massage

I found this a bit difficult as my breasts were in enough discomfort without kneading them like pizza dough, but it did help.

2. Keep hydrated

It’s also important to drink lots of water in addition to your lactation supplements.

3. Eat well

Eating a balanced diet is hard when you’re sleep deprived and not feeling so much like supermum, so I found an easy way to supplement your diet with a range of vitality products designed for new mums from  Optivance Mummy Smoothie. Each daily serve provides you 21 vitamins and minerals (including 100% of your daily vitamin B, D and iron requirements), a good source of protein including a 4g boost of collagen, 5 billion probiotics, 200mg of DHA and galactagogues (i.e. fennel and fenugreek). Use code SOCIAL20 for 20% off

4. Hot and cold therapy.

If you’re experiencing discomfort I found the hot and cold therapy really soothing for my breasts.

5. See a lactation consultant

Breastfeeding can be challenging and there are dedicated health professionals trained to help you if you need. For a consultant in your area check out the Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand. Website – https://www.lcanz.org

For more great breastfeeding tips join the Social Mama Community on Facebook to meet other mums experiencing the same highs and lows as you. There’s no judgement, this is a place you can come to enjoy socialising with like-minded people.

References:

[1] https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/exposures/lactation-breastfeeding

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