Are you intending to breastfeed your newborn? Here we explore how to care for your nipples during breastfeeding and explain what makes our Soothing Nipple Balm safe for you and your baby.
IS BREASTFEEDING RIGHT FOR YOU?
Whether you decide to breastfeed your baby or not is a matter of personal choice. For many women this is the most obvious thing to do and they wouldn't consider any other alternative. Other mums-to-be may be undecided, particularly if this is their first baby.
According to NHS data approximately 73%i of mothers choose to start breastfeeding their baby and many health professionals advise feeding infants exclusively breast milk until they reach 6 months of age.
PREPARING FOR BREASTFEEDING
While breastfeeding may seem like a natural choice, it is not without its challenges. Cracked nipples, difficulties latching on and tongue-tie can be frustrating for both mum and baby and to begin with it can feel overwhelming.
Anxiety and stress can impact your milk production so before baby arrives make sure you have set up a comfortable, calm space to feed in your home. To make you feel more comfortable when feeding inside and outside of the home, you may want to purchase a nursing pillow or nursing cover. Investing in nursing bras or a breastfeeding top may also make feeding a bit easier.
If you are worried that breastfeeding may be painful, something to consider purchasing for your changing bag is our Organic Babies Soothing Nipple Balm. Containing organic Calendula, vitamin E and Shea butter, this soothing balm can be used before, during and after breastfeeding to calm and nourish sore or cracked nipples. Entirely Lanolin-free, our Nipple Balm won’t cause irritation and because it is made with natural plant extracts, it does not need to be removed before feeds and can be used safely whilst continuing to breastfeed your baby.
Reading up on what to expect may also make navigating the nursing process easier and here we explain why breastmilk is so good for baby and how you can make sure both you and they are getting the best from breastfeeding.
WHAT IS IN BREAST MILK THAT MAKES IT SO NUTRITIOUS?
The nutritional content of human breast milk has evolved over tens of thousands of years to ensure that babies get every nutrient they need, in the right proportions and quantities. Your baby’s nutritional needs will change as they grow, and your breast milk will adapt to support their development:
The first stage of milk production - Immediately after your baby is born, a mother’s milk is thicker and contains a high concentrations of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) that newborns need for growth, brain development and bile-salt production. This first milk is called 'colostrum' and it plays a vital role in establishing a healthy digestive system in your baby. Colostrum is only produced for the first few days and normally by day 3-4 mothers are starting to produce transitional milk.
The second stage of milk production - Transitional milk is still rich in EFAs but has less than are found in colostrum. The overall fat content of your breast milk is also slightly lower at this stage, but there is an increase in lactose and protein. This milk is generally produced for the first six months of your baby’s life, although this can be longer if your baby was born prematurely. This milk provides everything that your growing baby needs during the first six months so there is usually no need to supplement with anything else during this period.
The third stage of milk production - The third stage of milk production is called mature milk, and this is generally produced from six months post-partem. It is during this stage that you should begin to introduce other foods and start the weaning process.
THE BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING FOR BABIES
- Breast milk provides Essential Fatty Acids, proteins and many other nutrients
- Breast milk helps babies to build a strong immunity against bacteria, viruses and fungi
- Breast milk is always sterile and never contains the bacteria that may cause diarrhoea in bottle-fed infants
- Breastmilk is anti-allergy. The antibodies in breastmilk work to form a protective coating on the inside of a baby’s intestines, protecting them from potential allergens
- Suckling helps infants to develop their facial muscles and encourages the growth of straight, healthy teeth
- Skin-to-skin contact can reassure and calm infants
PREVENTING PROBLEMS WHEN BREASTFEEDING
SHARE YOUR STORY:
Every baby is different and whether you’re a first-time mum or a mum to many, establishing your breastfeeding regime can be frustrating and tiring. Remember, you are doing a brilliant thing and if you are feeling overwhelmed, your first port-of-call should be your health team.
Your Health Visitor, GP and the experts at baby clinics all want to ensure you and your baby are thriving! If you’re struggling to get baby to latch-on, speak to them! They may have some great techniques you can try or, be able to get you expert help from a breastfeeding counsellor or infant feeding specialist.
STOP THE SORENESS:
Are sore, cracked nipples making breastfeeding uncomfortable? The best treatment for sore nipples is a bit of TLC. So, apply your Organic Babies Soothing Nipple Balm and massage it gently into the skin morning and evening to help prepare your nipples for a hungry little baby. You may like to use nipple shields to protect your nipples whilst they heal.
Remember, frequent feeding does not cause sore nipples. A baby who doesn't latch-on well or is attached incorrectly at the breast is more likely to be the cause so be sure to report any soreness or discomfort to your health team.
"Nipple salvation. Love this nipple cream! Feels lovely & soothing & much nicer to use than other well known brands I have used. Thanks Green People! Emily"
PUT YOUR FEET UP!
One brilliant benefit of breastfeeding is that despite some discomfort, it encourages you to relax. Sitting down and resting whilst you feed will force you to put your feet up. Taking the time to be quiet and calm can make things seem less overwhelming and allows you to focus on feeding and bonding with baby.
Everyone struggles with breastfeeding at times and by preventing these problems you’ll soon be able to make it an enjoyable bonding time for you and your baby!
If you have any questions about our natural nipple balm and how it can help care for your nipples whilst breastfeeding, our customer care team is happy to help. Please call us on 01403 740350 or leave a comment or question below.