Breastfeeding is a bit like going on an aeroplane.
You sit down, the ‘fasten seatbelt’ light switches on and the plane starts climbing in the sky – and then suddenly you realise you’ve left your boiled sweets and your jumper in your hand luggage in the overhead locker, your ears are popping uncomfortably and your arms are resembling the plucked Christmas turkey…and the air hostess glares at you when you do an experimental leaving-my-seat-just-for-a-second wiggle.
Except the air hostess in this case is a baby, and the seat you’re tied down to is your sofa, or bed, or a park bench or a car seat or a picnic rug or…wherever you’re sitting down to feed really (you CAN stand up to feed. I did that all round London Zoo once but take it from me it’s really not a great idea if you’re knackered from giving birth and especially if you don’t like being stared at like one of the zoo exhibits).
But back to aeroplanes.
My point is, if you’re going to breastfeed, make sure you are comfortable!
There are many ways to achieve this.
1. Have a breastfeeding station set up in your house. This may contain, for example, a comfortable chair with cushions to support your back; the remote control for the TV; a hosepipe connected to a giant water vat (I don’t have one of these but I HAVE dreamed about it and I’m sure my Other Half has too since he is regularly on the receiving end of my shouts for more liquid); a nursing pillow; a huge stack of muslins, a pile of snacks, and a slice of blueberry cheesecake.
2. Wear comfortable clothes. You can get some great outfits specifically tailored for breastfeeding, with discreet openings that mean you can breastfeed comfortably whilst still staying warm and keeping your post-birth wobbly bits covered too. Milk and Mummy is my current favourite for lovely summer dresses that – unlike a lot of nursing clothes which are a bit like sacks after you’ve stretched them during pregnancy – are fitted with less sack like, more flattering lines.
3. Make sure you are sitting with good posture. Slouching over during a 45 minute feed will give you backache and will probably make achieving an effective latch more difficult too.
4. Avoid feeding on aeroplanes wherever possible. Aeroplanes just generally are uncomfortable, for EVERYTHING.*
5. Learn to feed lying down. It makes night feeds so much easier and if you have set up your bed for safe co-sleeping, it takes away the worry that you might accidentally fall asleep while sitting up bleary-eyed at 3am surrounded by a big pile of pillows.
Comfortable mum + comfortable baby = most likely, a comfortable breastfeed.
If you’d like to see some other breastfeeding top tips then check out these bloggers who’ve also written about breastfeeding today:
and don’t forget to take a look at Milk and Mummy, who are giving away some beautiful dribble bibs as part of the grand prize which you can enter using the rafflecopter below:
*obviously, if you ARE on an aeroplane then DO feed your baby. But if you don’t need to go on an aeroplane then don’t feed there.