How to Make the Breastfeeding Journey Go Smoothly

Breastfeeding is a magical part of motherhood, nurturing that unique bond between parent and baby, however, it’s also no secret that nursing a little one is no easy feat. 

To ease mums to be into the wonderful world of breastfeeding, baby and nursery retailer Kiddies Kingdom spoke to breastfeeding mentor Danielle Facey (@thebreastfeedingmentor) to share her expert knowledge on how to make the breastfeeding journey smooth for mum and baby.

The Impact of Breastfeeding on Your Body 

Breastfeeding can have many effects on your body, one being the continued production of the hormone ‘relaxin’. Produced during pregnancy to help loosen joints and ligaments to make birth easier, ‘relaxin’ continues to circulate for the duration of breastfeeding. 

Danielle shares that “it is important to be aware of this for when you start to get back into exercising postpartum as your ligaments and joints are looser than usual so take extra care to avoid injury.”

Breastfeeding can also have impact on your day-to-day life with Danielle mentioning that “breastfeeding burns 25% of the calories that you consume each day, which is 5% more than our brains use, so if you find yourself ravenously hungry and thirsty this may be why.”

A further effect unmentioned is that a breastfeedingmums’ libido can be reduced. “It is very normal and more common than you might expect and although it isn’t the case for everyone, for those who it does affect it can be incredibly isolating.” Danielle adds that “focusing on a connection with your partner in other ways such as emotionally, intellectually and through touch can help you to reconnect and regain that intimacy.”

The Best Breastfeeding Positions

You may need to try a few breastfeeding positions before finding one that works best for you and your little one. Danielle advises to “line up your baby’s nose with your nipple, rather than their chin or jaw so that they have to open up wide and get a good deep latch. Your nipple should be right at the back of their mouth to effectively and comfortably remove milk from your breast”.

She also recommends to “lay back when breastfeeding because gravity helps your little one get into position and stay there, leaving you hands-free and able to relax.” To best do this, she suggests to “either lie back in a chair with a cushion or in bed with lots of cushions and lay your little on in full body contact and line their nose up with your nipple. You can either do this with your baby vertically but if you’ve had a c-section or if they are very long, then angle them across your body and allow them to latch onto you.”

Practising Self-Care Whilst Breastfeeding

Sometimes you can struggle to feel like yourself whilst you’re breastfeeding, but self-care can go a long way. Danielle recommends having “someone spend time with your little one to give yourself a moment to yourself.”

She also recommends “starting small as it is normal to feel overprotective of your little one. Perhaps lie completely still on a flat surface with a facemask on for 15 minutes.”

Over time you might be more comfortable with leaving your little one for longer stretches. She advises to “nurse them first, so you know they are not hungry or thirsty before you leave. Perhaps start with half an hour in the bath listening to your favourite podcast and then build up to an hour. Whatever it is you do, make sure to make time for regular me time to be able to switch off and be still. Your body, mind and soul will thank you for it.”

How to Deal with Breastfeeding Soreness

Whilst breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful, Danielle shares that “you may experience slight pain whilst your little one is teething or if they are cluster feeding.” To relieve any discomfort that you might be having, she suggests to “express some of your own breast milk and apply that to your nipple to help it heal. Alternatively, you can apply natural based products like nipple creams and balms to help you recover too.”

If the soreness you’re experiencing is because your nipples are engorged or you have a clogged milk duct, Danielle advises to “apply a hot or cold compress (or alternating between the two) to bring you some relief.” 

Jumaimah Hussain, Showroom Store Manager at Kiddies Kingdom commented:

“Breastfeeding is an emotional rollercoaster – it’ll be challenging, tiring, and overwhelming but it’ll also be beautiful, intimate, rewarding, and completely worthwhile.

Whilst breastfeeding, it’s completely normal to feel like you’re struggling with your sense of self. You may feel guilty that this joyous experience is feeling not so joyous for you but always remember, you’re not alone! Looking after your little one is incredibly important but looking after yourself is just as important.”

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.