Mums share their best breastfeeding tips

From dealing with night feeds to sore nipples, fellow mums share their top tips and advice on breastfeeding

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Sometimes it’s hard to stay awake during night feeds!

For reducing night feeds

“To stop Millie waking for feeds I woke her up just before I went to bed, at about 11pm, and gave her a quick feed. She would usually be a bit sleepy, but would be awake enough to suckle and take some milk. This meant she didn’t wake for her usual 2am feed and after a week or so she learnt to sleep through the whole night.”

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Joanne Waters, 27, from Berkshire, mum to Millie, 1

For giving the first feed

“I couldn’t get Sophie to latch on when I was in hospital, but every time she showed signs of hunger I offered her my breast. We got there eventually but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it. If you have problems, contact an NCT breastfeeding counsellor as they really helped me.”

Rachel King, 33, from Berkshire, mum to Sophie, 2 months

For switching your baby between breast and bottle

“After exclusively breastfeeding Max, I found the best way to introduce a bottle was when he wasn’t starving, and was happy and relaxed. He was laying on his playmat being kept occupied by hanging toys when we finally cracked it! We had tried to do it previously but he got very upset and refused it.”

Nicola Amis, 30, from Surrey, mum to Maximus, 11 months

To keep track of breastfeeding

“I always put Catalina to the breast she likes least first – my two children have always had a favourite – so she will empty this one first before moving onto the next one where she is happier feeding. The problems started when she didn’t take a full feed and missed a side. There are bracelets you can buy that help you keep track of which breast you used, but something as simple as marking your breastpad with a pen works just as well.”

For coping with night feeds

“I put a DVD in to watch as I breastfed, and made sure the remote controls and a glass of water were ready by the chair. I only ever watched around 20 minutes at a time but chick flicks are easy to dip in and out of. I even looked forward to watching the next part!”

Teresa Morgan, 36, from Weston-Super-Mare, mum to Benjamin, 5, and Kieran, 2

For modesty after birth

“When I gave birth to my daughter, I found a sarong very handy. It can be slung over bare boobs during breastfeeding when you have your picture taken, meaning you maintain both your modesty and skin-to-skin bonding contact.

Gail Fielding, 28, from Exmouth, mum to Hazel, 8 weeks 

For safe expressing

“Harriet was still breastfeeding when I returned to work, so I had to express milk to give to the childminder. To make sure the bottles didn’t get muddled and the milk used was fresh, each time I expressed, I labelled each bottle with a time and date.”

Willow Hall, 32, from Portsmouth, mum to Harriet, 9 months

Treating mastitis

“To relieve the pain in my breast that had a blocked milk duct, I put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel on it. I also found getting on all fours when feeding really worked too. I found doing this while massaging the breast helped to clear the blockage. Luckily it went away by itself and I didn’t need antibiotics.”

Helen Raines, 33, from Kent, mum to Evie, 3 months

For soothing cracked nipples

“There isn’t anything better than Lansinoh cream for soothing cracked nipples (£9.95, www.lansinoh.co.uk), but it also helps to use a bit of breast milk at the end of a feed to rub on them too. After the first 10 days your nipples tend to harden up anyway.”

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Helen Ostler, 36, from East Sussex, mum to Alice, 3, and Sam, 21 months

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