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K.L.I.P: Tips for a Successful Breastfeeding Experience

November 27, 2010

Learning to breastfeed is like learning how to drive. Some women take to it like the easiest thing in the world. Some women never learn to do it. But most women fall in middle category, where they have to put in quite a bit of effort to learn how to breastfeed.

I am glad to share that I managed to learn this skill after much effort. To spare some first time mummies-to-be a little agony in the learning process, here are some personal tips on learning how to breastfeed. I have even come up with a handy acronym, K.L.I.P, to help you remember them!

K. Knowledge 

K is for Knowledge. Many women think that breastfeeding is something that you can only learn “on-the-job”. Well, that is true only to a certain extent. When the nurse comes over with your baby a few hours after your delivery, you have only a very short span of time to learn how to breastfeed. And remember, you are still very weak after the delivery. So it helps to learn everything you can about breastfeeding before the baby arrives. Three main things to learn are: (i) How to get Baby to latch on to your breast properly; (ii) Proper Positioning for Breastfeeding; (iii) Common Issues with Breastfeeding and How to Overcome them. Here are some good articles on breastfeeding that I found on the internet:

L. Lactation Consultants 

We are really very fortunate. Nowadays, most hospitals have a group of specialists, i.e. the lactation consultants, that we can rely on when we face difficulties learning how to breastfeed. And they are really worth their salt. My skills in breastfeeding improved significantly each time I had the benefit of a lactation consultant’s time. So when you are still at the hospital, do ask for a lactation consultant to come around to observe your latch on techniques, and learn as much as possible from her.

I. Invest

There is a saying: To do the best job, invest in the best tools. There are some handy tools out there to help you in your breastfeeding. The number one thing to invest is to buy a good breastfeeding pillow. For me, I received a hand-me-down breastfeeding pillow from my sister, which did an “okay” job of helping me to breastfeed. However, at the start of the learning experience, I really had a lot of difficulties positioning the baby. So I surfed the net and read a lot of reviews about this breastfeeding pillow called “My Brest Friend”. It really did wonders for me in helping me to position the baby. Now I can’t do without it when I breastfeed Baby R.

P. Persevere 

The final word P is for perserverance. This is a bit cliché, but you really need to persevere when it comes to learning how to breastfeed. At the start, it is very common to get sore nipples and engorged breasts. If possible, just bear with the pain and continue breastfeeding. But of course, we have to persevere in a clever way as well. For example, if you know you have engorged breasts, get the help of a lactation consultant to show you how to massage your breasts, then diligently massage your breasts before continuing to breastfeed.

At the end of the day, breastfeeding is a personal choice. You may have very legitimate reasons for stopping or not learning how to breastfeed. If so, do not waste time blaming yourself for it! There is a lot of hype about the benefits of breastfeeding nowadays, but I have friends who use formula from the start, and their babies are as healthy as any other babies.

Wish you luck in your breastfeeding efforts!


One Comment leave one →
  1. December 7, 2010 11:11 pm

    Great post! 🙂 Totally agree about persevering. Experienced almost every single problem in the book and nearly gave up. Was so glad I stuck on, and am still feeding the guy and he’s approaching 2 years! 🙂 Hang in there for the feeding, it gets easier! (And another good thing to have on the list: A nursing cover, to feed bubs in public. I sew them, let me know if you’re interested! 😉

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