Self Care during breastfeeding and pumping at the same time
We have all heard tales about women not having enough milk to breastfeeding and breastfeed their babies and, even though the fear may be only subconscious when problems arise during the early days of feeding a woman may use this as an excuse to justify giving up on beast-feeding. Please don’t succumb to this pressure; resist it even if midwife suggests it to you, and certainly when friends and relatives do. Every woman comes equipped with the means and capacity to feed her baby.
Beasts respond to the demand for breastfeeding and milk by producing it, so if your newborn is not taking off all your milk in the initial stages, you should try to express the rest so that the demand for milk from your breasts is kept up. Most breasts respond to this approach with a good flow of milk.
You may also be interested in: Sample breastfeeding and pumping schedule
How to care during breastfeeding and pumping
- Rest as much as you can, particularly during the first weeks after the birth of your baby. This is a time when you should sit rather than stand, and lie rather than sit.
- Keep your nipples clean (do not use soap) and dry them after bathing, nursing breastfeeding and pumping to prevent cracking.
- Your milk flow will be affected if you are tense so go through your ante-natal relaxation routines and make sure that you have a period to yourself every day when you can lie down.
- Go to bed as early as you can. You will be quite tired anyway and your sleep patterns will probably be broken by your baby.
- As far as the house is concerned, let the housework go. Don’t do anything but the most important things.
- Remember that whatever you eat is transferred to your child. The best foods are fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and other natural foods. Avoid processed foods; the additives and chemicals are passed along in your breast milk.
- Make sure that your diet is well-balanced and relatively rich in protein. Don’t eat a lot of highly refined and processed carbohydrates (cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolates, etc.).
- Increase your food intake by 500 to 600 calories a day to provide nutrition for your infant.
- You may need some iron supplements and possibly some vitamin supplements, so ask your doctor about this.
- Drink plenty of liquids, such as fruit and vegetable juices, pure water, and herbal teas (no caffeine). Contrary to popular opinion, nursing mothers do not need to drink milk in order to produce milk. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Drink about 8 litres (5 pints) of fluid every day that you are breastfeeding; some women find they need a drink of them while breastfeeding and pumping.
- Most of your milk is produced in the morning when you are rested so if you consistently rush about or become tense during the day you’ll find by evening that your supply is weak.
- If your baby doesn’t take all the milk available in the new feeds of the day, express the remainder. This will ensure that the supply is topped up throughout the day.
- Get help and support from everyone around you who is active and optimistic. Use your midwife and health visitor; speak to friends who’ve had babies and got advice from them,
- Avoid exposure to pesticides, herbicides, cigarette smoke, and other toxic chemicals, including chemicals used in cleaning products and those used to treat your garden. These can find their way into your breast milk.
- If you are unable to give your baby a feed because you’re away or because you’re ill, express the milk off to keep pumping milk supply going.
We recommend reading the article: How to increase breast milk naturally at home