Our experienced midwife sheds light on your breastfeeding niggles and worries
A: If you’re feeling fine and are happy to continue, there is no reason to stop – in fact some women breastfeed throughout their pregnancies and feed both baby and older child simultaneously. Just be careful about your nutritional intake, a good diet is always important during pregnancy; but especially so while pregnant and breastfeeding. Eat a variety of healthy foods and don’t just rely on nutritional supplements. If you continue to breastfeed after the first trimester you will certainly need more calories and more calcium than the average pregnant woman.
Some babies wean themselves off the breast because the pregnancy hormones can cause a reduction in milk supply and may also change the taste. However, if your toddler is still breastfeeding when your new baby is born and you don’t fancy tandem feeding allow your new baby to feed first. Your older child may manifest feelings of jealously when the new baby feeds. This is normal. Tandem breastfeeding can be stressful, and is not for everyone. Be sure to ask for the help you need, once your new baby is born. Your partner may be thrilled to begin taking on a much more active role with your older child, while you are busy with the new baby.
A: About one third of mums will experience some degree of inversion, but as the skin changes and becomes more elastic during pregnancy, only about 10% will still have some inversion by the time their baby is born. Flat or inverted nipples may make it more difficult for your baby to nurse, but it should not cause too many problems during breastfeeding. Because your baby forms a teat, not just from the nipple, but also from the surrounding breast tissue, most inverted or flat nipples will not cause problems during breastfeeding. Some types of flat or inverted nipples will cause problems, however, and there are some steps you can take to correct the problem both before and after the baby is born. How much difficulty a flat or inverted nipples presents to a nursing baby depends on the degree of inversion as well as the baby herself. For a baby to nurse effectively, she must be able to grasp the nipple and stretch it forward and upwards against the roof of her mouth. If you have a strong, healthy, full-term, vigorous nurser, she may be able to draw out the nipple with relative ease.
You may want to use a treatment that is available in the form of a product called the Niplette. This is a relatively cheap device invented by a plastic surgeon. It looks like a transparent nipple-shaped cup with a syringe attached. By following the instructions and using the device for 2 to 3 months, preferably before or in the first 6 months of your pregnancy, your nipples will be prepared for feeding. After your baby is born, you can use a breast pump to draw out a flat or inverted nipple immediately before putting your baby on the breast. Usually, after the first few nursings, the baby’s vigorous sucking will help the tissues protrude and your baby will become better at grasping and drawing the nipple into her mouth as she gets bigger and stronger. This said, the best advice is still to consult your midwife or lactation consultant.
A: Crying is normal for a baby. It is their first communication tool and many babies cry an average of one to two hours a day. Newborns are helpless, so this is the only language they have to invite you to respond to their needs. Some babies do seem to cry more, making it difficult to comfort them. This can create anxiety in new parents and this in turn can project itself back to baby.
Some reasons for crying:
Although hearing a newborn cry can be distressing, over time you will become tuned in to your baby’s crying and even the specific reasons for it. Learn to trust your instinct in knowing what is wrong and how to soothe your baby.
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