All about breastfeeding
From breast care to the best way to latch your baby, all you need to know about breastfeeding.

Many people make a great fuss over breast care and recommend all sorts of potions and lotions. If your baby is latched correctly, you shouldn’t have any problems and breastfeeding will be painless.

Here are a few things to bear in mind

  • A daily shower with warm water is all the cleaning you need.
  • Wash the breasts, not the nipples.
  • Avoid soap as this has a drying effect on the skin and washes off the natural softeners.
  • Nipples should be kept dry between feeds, so change soggy breast pads.
  • Prevent cracked nipples by correctly latching the baby onto the breast. The nurses at the clinic will help with this if you're struggling.
  • Wear a comfortable bra, even to sleep in if it helps.
But sometimes sore and cracked nipples are a reality for many new mothers. Some of the causes of sore nipples are:
  • Incorrect latching
  • The baby's feeding position
  • Taking baby off the breast incorrectly
  • A very strong sucking action by baby, especially in the beginning
  • Not allowing your breasts to dry out between feeds
  • A thrush infection
If these problems are not resolved early then your nipples may become cracked and bleed – which is exceptionally sore and makes breastfeeding difficult.
  • Always ensure your baby is correctly latched when feeding. He should have his jaw around a good section of breast, not just be pulling at the nipple. If you are unsure show your clinic sister your feeding technique so she can advise you.
  • Change the feeding position in the first few weeks every third or fourth feed – this will also help you work out which position works best for you and your baby.
  • To take her off the breast properly without hurting your nipples, you need to break the suction by putting your finger in the corner of her mouth. Don’t pull the nipple out, that hurts.
  • Try feeding more frequently so she doesn’t suck too hard when put to your breast. When finished feeding leave the area open for a few minutes to dry out.
  • Breast pads or bras with plastic linings keep the moisture in, so try not to use them too often. Always change them when they are wet, and try to give your breasts some air.
  • You don’t have to use nipple creams but if they are very tender choose one that is light and does not need to be removed to feed.
  • If you have thrush, get an anti-fungal cream from your doctor. Your baby may also have thrush in the mouth, so get him checked out too, otherwise you will just keep infecting each other.

Some more breastfeeding resources for your new journey:

Best breastfeeding videos!
Everything a new mom needs to know about breastfeeding techniques.

Breastfeeding: The first latch [VIDEO]
A helpful latching guide by Dr Jack Newman.

Some advice from the Le Leche League

Kim Jurgens from the Le Leche League, talks about what a mother can expect when she first starts breastfeeding.

Part 1 - Breastfeeding: The Le Leche league

Part 2 - Breastfeeding: What to expect in the beginning

Part 3 - Breastfeeding: A good age to stop

Part 4 - Breastfeeding: The tooth decay study

Part 5 - Breastfeeding: Feeding in public places

Part 6 - Breastfeeding: The benefits

Do you have any tips for new moms breastfeeding?

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