The month of August is World Breastfeeding Month, an international campaign to raise awareness, educate, advocate, and support women around the world in getting breastmilk to their babies.
Allhamdullilah, I have been lucky enough to breastfeed Nayel. It's been 16 months and I have experienced all the ups and downs and highs and lows of breastfeeding- we're still very much on it. Let me tell you- its a beautiful thing and I'm so proud of myself to pull it this much!
I was so up for breastfeeding since I got pregnant for Nayel. It was like the top mission for me. And Allah helped me so much in my journey.
As my share for honoring the breastfeeding week, I'm writing some tips and tricks that helped me immensely in my feeding timeline and I'm hoping some might help you too.
Pre Baby preps!
1. Attend a breastfeeding class. Make sure the daddy is with you 😉
2.Watch videos and read information regarding it.
3. Talk to a nursing friend – sharing experiences helped me so much.
3. Consult your doctor/ breastfeeding consultant – share your breastfeeding plan prior to the birth so you and your doctor are on the same page. I had the very amazing @Amanibirth group with me! ( It's a support group of doctors, midwives and doulas around the world to support natural birth and breastfeeding. Check out their website for more information.
Your hospital time
1. Try to nurse right after birth. It's going to be so strange but you will love it!
2. Get some help! Don't be shy – it's your first time. Ask as much as you want.
3. Skin to skin gets the oxytocin run high up. Thus it brings milk sooner.
3. The real cow kind flow will happen in 2-3 days. Till then the thick precious liquid that comes out is called colostrum- its full of amazing fighting gems for ur lil one.
4.Get daddies help! Seriously they are the best.
5. Hold your baby as close as possible. The more the contact the better the milk. ( Allah's system never fail to amaze me! SubhanAllah! )
Bringing Nayel home was the best feeling ever and nursing him exclusively was even greater! Also very tough in the beginning. When milk comes in, your breast become rocky hard, you're leaking and you have no idea how the size grew this much! 😝 You look like a cow and that's what everyone calls you too. It's like the only thing you are doing- oh munching and feeding.
To help you guys in your journey, if you are or planning to breastfeed, here are my top favorites that made my breastfeeding a memorable and a beautiful experience. Check them out ! 👇🏼
1. A nursing pillow – thanks to my friend Wafa who gifted me a nice comfy nursing pillow. It was a huge help for my back. It also helps in getting the baby a deep latch as the baby stays very close to you, preventing sore nipples. If you've had a C – sec this will be your best friend!
2. A breast pump– Hands down to the best one in the market and worth an investment – Medela Electric pump. It helped me to establish my milk flow while Nayel was in the Nicu. It also was my savior with engorged breast ! If you come across blocked nipples , your breast will be super hard and painful. The best thing to do is pump and throw, stand under the hot shower to soothe them. Also do not pump too much as your body will think you have twins and go bonkers making gallons🤣. Check http://www.mumzworld.com for more options. If you're introducing a bottle , joining back work or just want to leave the baby for sometime to go out, pump will work wonders for you. Nurse and pump milk. Store it in bottles! You could also freeze it.
3. Nursing Bras– get 3-4 of these. They will keep breastfeeding easier even if you're ouside. They have clips for easy on and off. I got mine from Mothercare which were 100 percent cotton. There are plenty of options with different styles too 😉
4. Super foods to increase the flow- I'll just list down the foods that helped me to establish a good flow : Nuts and more nuts , Avocados, fenugreek herb , cumin seeds , eggs , dates, almond milk , oatmeal , and milk ofcourse. There are plenty more too! As a full time nursing mom be very careful of what you eat as it effects your baby's tummy. Avoild gassy foods as babies are usually colic😝- Nayel was the most colic baby ever! And thus Infacol was our best friend 💜
5. Remember to Rest – let your mom stay with you or someone who would take care and cook food for you for atleast a month post birth. My MIL and my mom both were a blessing for me. With Nayel all I used to do was nurse and eat my heart and tummy out- fresh warm homemade food would be served to me right on the bed 😍. (Spoilt much😋)
6. Water is your best friend – If you want more milk, drink more water. It's that simple! I would always keep a water bottle filled next to me. Also you get very thirsty while feeding. A dehydrated mama cannot produce an abundance of milk.
ThinsIkea trolley was my favorite buy. Absolutely handy during early days when I would always be nursing Nayel.
7. Wanna keep it just for yourself ? – I bought a beautiful quilted nursing blanket for myself which was the best ever! It helped me to breastfeed in public and was a life saver in traveling! I went for a crazy wild life safari in South Africa while Nayel was 4 months old and nursed him in the blanket with Elephants and Lions around 😂.
8. Jazz it up 🕶- last but not the least,this ones very important too! Get your favorite reading materials, charge your phones 📱 , subscribe to Netflix or Youtube channels- your lil ones are going to take their time milking up. Hours and hours in the beginning 😂. Meanwhile sit back, relax and enjoy the moment! – it's not going to last forever❤️ – (I can't exactly count how many time have I dropped my phone on Nayel😂 , so be a little careful 😷)
Also to add- I used to listen to Quran while feeding Nayel – it was the most perfect thing💜
"Motherhood is a tough balancing act, and every mom deserves the chance to do what's right for her and her family. If that means breastfeeding, great. If that means formula feeding, that's totally fine, too. I just want to make sure that every mom truly does have both options." Melinda Gates
I hope these will help you. Did I miss something? Please leave me a comment! I'd love to hear your nursing experiences😍- afterall we are SUPER MUMS!
•Happy cow-ing 🐮 •