THE BREASTFEEDING MENTOR - AN INTERVIEW WITH DANIELLE

Do not panic! We have the answers to ALL of your breastfeeding concerns, we have been chatting to Danielle AKA the Breastfeeding Mentor who has answered your questions for us and given us all her top breastfeeding tips! You can read the rest of her super helpful blog Latch On here.

What would be your top tips for mums to be who are hoping to breastfeed?

1. Educate Yourself: Attend breastfeeding classes, read reputable resources, and seek guidance from lactation consultants to learn about breastfeeding techniques, common challenges, and how to overcome them.

2. Build a Support System: Surround yourself with supportive family members, friends, and healthcare professionals who understand and respect your breastfeeding goals.

3. Start Early: Begin practicing breastfeeding techniques, such as proper latch and positioning, during pregnancy to familiarise yourself and your baby with the process.

4. Stay Flexible: Understand that breastfeeding may not always go as planned, and be open to adjusting your approach based on your baby's needs and your own comfort.

5. Take Care of Yourself: Prioritise self-care, rest, and nutrition to support your physical and emotional well-being during the breastfeeding journey.

 

Do you have any favourite brands for breastfeeding bras?

- Hot Milk Lingerie

- Cake Maternity

- Mark and Spencer

 

What are your top styling tips for easy breastfeeding outfits?

- Choose nursing-specific tops or tops with discreet nursing access, such as wrap-style or button-down shirts.

- Layering with a nursing tank or camisole under regular tops allows for easy and discreet breastfeeding.

- Invest in breastfeeding-friendly dresses with empire waistlines or stretchy fabrics for convenient nursing access.

 

What would you say are some of the biggest myths surrounding breastfeeding?

Myth: Breastfeeding is always easy and painless. Most mothers need at least some support to get breastfeeding established, especially in the early days. Pain is subjective, too, so one persons “soreness,” might be really painful for another. When in doubt, I recommend seeking in-person advice from an IBCLC or peer support group.

Myth: You won't produce enough milk if your breasts are small. Breast size has nothing to do with milk-making capacity! This is a complete fallacy (I speak as a former A cup who had a severe oversupply of milk).

Myth: You shouldn't breastfeed in public because it's rude or inappropriate. Breastfeeding is protected by law in the UK and in many parts of the world. If you have the right to be there, you have the right to breastfeed there. 

Any top foods you should add in to your diet to help with breastfeeding?

No food is proven to boost your milk supply, but a healthy, nutrient-dense, protein rish diet is vital. I personally love:

- Oats

- Leafy greens

- Lean protein sources

- Healthy fats like avocado and nuts

- Hydration with plenty of water

 

Any quick wins to help increase your supply? 

- Nurse frequently, especially during the early days to stimulate milk production.

- Practice skin-to-skin contact with your baby to enhance milk flow and bonding.

- Consider using breast compression techniques during feeding sessions to encourage milk transfer.

 

How to manage excess supply and too much milk?

- Use block feeding to regulate milk supply.

- Consider donating excess milk to milk banks or other mothers in need.

- Seek guidance from a lactation consultant for personalised advice on managing oversupply.

 

When is the right time to wean off the boob?

The right time to wean varies for each mother and baby. Factors to consider include your baby's age, readiness for solid foods, and your own breastfeeding goals and preferences. Every single mother and child are different and as such, so are our breastfeeding goals. 

How to feel comfortable and confident when breastfeeding in public?

- Practice breastfeeding in front of a mirror at home to become comfortable with your technique and positioning.

- Use nursing covers or scarves for added privacy if desired, but remember that breastfeeding is a natural and normal activity.

- Surround yourself with supportive company or join breastfeeding support groups to gain confidence and encouragement.

 

Do you have a favourite response to give to someone who criticises you for feeding in public? (I often used to come up with scenarios in my head and come up with a response so that I was prepared, luckily I have actually never experienced negativity towards feeding in public but I know it still happens which is shocking really)

"My breasts are only up for discussion as much as yours!"

 

How to breastfeed twins?

- Experiment with different feeding positions, such as tandem feeding or alternating sides, to find what works best for you and your babies.

- The rugby hold with a nursing pillow is ideal for many mothers who are nursing twins.

- Consider seeking support from a lactation consultant experienced in breastfeeding twins for personalised guidance and advice.

 

Is it possible to tandem feed a toddler and a newborn?

- Tandem feeding is possible but may require patience, practice, and support from a partner or caregiver.

- Ensure each child has a comfortable and secure latch to prevent discomfort or frustration.

- Remember to consume enough calories and nutritious food to meet your body’s needs as you provide for your children.

 

Can you breastfeed and drink alcohol?

It's generally safe to breastfeed after consuming alcohol, but it's recommended to wait 2-3 hours per standard drink before nursing to minimise alcohol exposure to the baby. The amount of alcohol that gets into you blood and then your breast milk is tiny - like a bucket in a swimming pool. So even if you don’t wait until all of the alcohol is out of your system before nursing your baby, they will be fine. If you are sober enough to safely hold and nurse your baby, you are sober enough to breastfeed them.

How does breastfeeding work if you then become pregnant again?

Breastfeeding during pregnancy is safe for most women, but it's important to stay hydrated and well-nourished to support both your current baby and the growing fetus. Mothers with a history of miscarriage, premature labour or a weakened cervix may be advised not to breastfeed through pregnancy. Any mother considering nursing through pregnancy should speak to her healthcare provider about doing so first.

How to feel like your breasts are your own again?

- Practice self-care and body positivity to embrace your breasts as a source of nourishment and comfort for your baby.

- Communicate openly with your partner about your feelings and establish boundaries to ensure your comfort and autonomy. This is easier said than done! Setting aside as little as an hour a week for one another without distractions helps with this. 

 

What to do if your breasts become sore?

- Use warm compresses or cold packs to relieve soreness and swelling.

- Apply your own freshly-expressed breast milkl to soothe dry or cracked nipples.

- Ensure proper latch and positioning during breastfeeding to prevent further discomfort.

 

Do your nipples go back after being stretched by a baby/toddler (hello trumpet nips, anyone else with me on this?)

- While nipples may stretch or change shape temporarily during breastfeeding, they often return to their pre-pregnancy appearance over time (mine did!).

- If concerned about nipple changes, consult with a healthcare provider for personalised advice and reassurance.

 

Thank you so much Danielle. 

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