At My Breastpump we celebrate World Breast Feeding week every year from the 1-7 August. This year the theme is “Stepping up to support breast feeding”. During the pandemic the support for breastfeeding dropped drastically. Mothers were not able to have face to face support groups, some antenatal preparation classes were cancelled or moved online, partners were not able to attend doctors visit or sometimes even attend the birth. Some mothers were all alone in the hospital until discharge. Mothers were then further isolated after giving birth in order to protect their new born from exposure to Corona Virus. All of these practices resulted in less breast-feeding support for mothers and their families. Now is the time that we need to start bring back all the different types of breast-feeding support that we know works and is enjoyed by mothers but also to learn from the new ways of supporting mothers that we learnt due to the pandemic.
Over the last 2 years, My Breastpump has supported mothers by running Online breastfeeding and pumping workshops with our lactation consultant. Assisted with antenatal classes. Attended many of the baby shows country wide, chatting to mothers about breast feeding and pumping. Collaborated with Little Little Prem with online classes for mothers that have just had premature infants to help and support them. Write breastfeeding article that are published monthly on Parenting Hub. Our goal is to support mothers by giving them correct and valuable information around breast feeding and pumping so that they are confidant and able to breast feed.
Hacks for mothers who want to breast feed or pump:
1. Start learning about breast feeding while you are pregnant
The more that you know about breast feeding the better equipped you will be and, more able to make informed choices about how your baby is fed.
2. Talk to your partner about how they can support you to breastfeed
Studies have shown that when a mother has a partner that support breast feeding, they are more likely to have a successful breast-feeding relationship. There are many different and supportive roles that partners can play with breast feeding. Some examples are: they can support and help with latching, make sure the mom is comfortable and well hydrated during feeds, change nappies and do bath time so that mom can rest.
3. Understand how breast milk is made
By understanding breast milk production this can really help you with your breastfeeding. You will be able to increase your milk supply, manage engorgement and know that your body responds to your baby’s needs. Learn about prolactin and oxytocin and how they make breast milk. Learn how to “flip on” your body’s breast-feeding switch. This will make you more confidence with your breast milk making abilities.
4. Learn how to breast feed with a deep latch
Learning how to breastfeed comfortable is key to enjoying breastfeeding and also a good milk supply. Learn how to hold your baby so that you will be able to get a nice comfortable deep latch. This will help to make your feed time shorter while ensuring that your baby gets enough breast milk. A deep latch also prevents pain and many of the other complications that can happen with a shallow latch.
5. Know how to monitor your baby to see if they are getting enough milk
Many mothers worry that they are not giving their baby enough milk or that her baby is hungry. With breast feeding there are ways to monitor how her baby is feeding and to check if they are getting enough milk.
6. Know what to look for in a breast pump for best results
Learn the important features and specs of the breast pump so that you are able to buy the wright breast pump for you. Features that you should consider when buying a breast pump are: closed system, warranty duration, hospital grade and double, so that you can make the best-informed choice which you purchase your breast pump. So many mothers end up buying a second pump because the first one was not working correctly. See an article here for more information
7. Learn how to store and manage your breast milk stash
Storage of expressed breast milk is really important that you do not want any of your milk to go to waste or use a breast milk storage bag that might burst while in the freezer. See more about building up your breast milk stash
8. Know when to ask for help and who to ask
As moms we are told we can and should do every thing but this is not true. When we need help, we just need to ask for it. The same is true with breast feeding and pumping. Asking for help can save your milk supply, increase your confidence and let you enjoy being a breast-feeding mom. Pop us a message and we will help you find a lactation consultant near you.
9. Find out from work what the HR policy is for when you return to work with regards to expressing
In South Africa there are recommendation that woman returning to work after having their baby should have breast feeding breaks and these breaks should be in a clean and safe area. Ask your HR before you go on maternity leave what the policy is so that you are prepared and ready when you go back to work. If there is no policy, then you can work with them to make sure that you are able to express your breast milk. Read more about Work place and breast feeding balance
10. Take one day at a time
Taking one day at a time and living in the moment is a great way to spend your maternity leave. Focus on what you have achieve today with your breast feeding and you will be surprised how quickly the time flys by.
If you are expecting a baby or new to breast feeding you are welcome to learn more about breast feeding and pumping on out online workshops. Follow this link to book a class.
We are keen to learn more from you. Let us know which are your favourite ways to learn about breast feeding and what do you think is the best way to support breast feeding moms?