How To Breastfeed

Video Series: How to Breastfeed

Our carefully selected video series from Breastfeeding NZ will guide you on breastfeeding

 Baby – Article by  

Whether you have just given birth to your first child or you are coming home with your sixth (either way: congratulations), breastfeeding can be challenging, painful, and frustrating. It can also bring great joy and it is worth persevering with breastfeeding.

This video series from Breastfeeding NZ will help. Breastfeeding NZ is a popular community project backed by the Ministry of Health. The videos follow Joy,  a midwife, mother and a breastfeeding educator. She has helped many mums with support and advice through their breastfeeding journeys.

1. Flat, pointed or inverted nipples?

Viewing time: 1m 24s

What you will learn:

  • It is important to be prepared for breastfeeding
  • Many women’s nipples point outwards to prepare for breastfeeding
  • Don’t worry if your nipples are flat or inverted – you can still breastfeed
  • Your midwife or lactation consultant can show you great techniques to help
  • Be sure to mention to your midwife if you have had breast surgery in the past.

2. Attend a breastfeeding class

Viewing time: 1m 8s

What you will learn:

  • Try and attend breastfeeding classes – many DHB’s offer these for free or low-cost
  • Bring a baby-sized doll or teddy to practice with,  and your partner
  • The classes will show you, amongst other things,  different types of hold, e.g. the rugby hold

3. Try hand-expressing from 36 weeks

Viewing time: 4m 6s

What you will learn:

  • Hand-expressing from 36 weeks will help get your milk flowing and is particularly useful if you have had gestational diabetes.
  • Joy gives us a demonstration on how to hand-express
  • Make sure you label your hand-expressed milk! It lasts 24 hours in fridge or 3-6 months in the freezer
  • Wait until 36 weeks and discuss with your midwife beforehand – especially if you have a high-risk condition where it may not be suitable for you

4. Clothing tips for breastfeeding mums

Viewing time: 1m 22s

What you will learn:

  • Joy shows us a top with a gap in the middle which helps you access your breasts while feeding
  • This type of style can make you feel more comfortable when feeding your baby while out and about
  • Breastfeeding bras can be modified cheaply yourself by looking online for tutorials, if you like.
  • There’s no need to buy expensive specialist bras

5. Managing your milk supply

Viewing time: 2m 17s

What you will learn:

  • To increase your milk supply you can feed your baby more regularly
  • You can also express after feeding, by hand or with a pump. This tells your body to make more milk.
  • Try ‘switch feeding’  – start feeding your baby on one side and switch to the other when they start comfort sucking (lightly sucking, taking little or no milk)
  • Give breast compressions a go – Joys shows us how to compress breasts and squeeze more milk
  • A mum’s body works on supply and demand and sometimes you may have too much milk.
  • If this happens you can block feed: just one breast. This tells your body not to fill any more
  • A firm bra, a cold flannel and raw cabbage leaves on your breasts can all help too

6. Caring for sore nipples

Viewing time: 2m 17s

What you will learn:

  • Breastfeeding can be painful and your nipples can get sore, whether or not this is your first baby
  • Check your latch – is baby pinching your nipple? You can ask your midwife or lactation consultant for advice on this
  • Try Lanolin cream which can help soothe and moisturise your nipples, letting them heal between feeds.
  • Breast pads can help with leaks and either disposable or washable ones are available

7. Support networks for breastfeeding mums

Viewing time: 1m 45s

What you will learn:

  • You don’t need to feel alone when you are breastfeeding, there is so much support available
  • Find out what is on in your area before you give birth
  • There are centres all over New Zealand with support for breastfeeding – check with your midwife and find out what is available in your area before you give birth
  • In your first 6 weeks, you can contact your midwife with questions and concerns
  • After 6 weeks you will be under the care of a Plunket or Well Child Tamaraki nurse
  • Check out the La Leche League for breastfeeding support
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family
  • Join the community on the Breastfeeding NZ Facebook page for support, too

8. Recognising and treating blocked ducts and mastitis

Viewing time: 3m 22s

What you will learn:

  • A blocked duct occurs when there is a blockage of milk and can be painful
  • To help, feed your baby often and try and drain your breast of milk frequently
  • Massage your breast and don’t be scared to use pain relief
  • Mastitis is an infection and can have the same symptoms as a blocked duct
  • But you may see redness around your breast and red streaks
  • Mastitis can develop very quickly and can feel like the flu.
  • Go to GP or midwife if symptoms last more than 24 hours – you may need antibiotics
  • Massage lumps in the shower and keep the breast drained to help
  • Use heat from a warm flannel to help release the milk flow when expressing or feeding
  • A cold flannel afterwards will ease inflammation and pain
  • Risk factors: include a weakened immune system, anaemia, stress, and fatigue
  • Focus on getting well and ask for help from your family

9. Let’s discuss milk donation

Viewing time: 1m 38s

What you will learn:

  • There are plenty of Facebook pages in New Zealand which aim to connect mums with milk donors
  • Use of healthy donor milk can be beneficial but there are some risks involved
  • It is up to you to look into the latest research and make up your own mind
  • It’s important to build a relationship with the donor and find out about her lifestyle and the impact on her own family
  • The milk donor needs to ensure all equipment is sterile

10. Exercising while breastfeeding

Viewing time: 1m 15s

What you will learn:

  • Exercise is good for our physical health and emotional wellbeing
  • Don’t exercise to the point of exhaustion as this can reduce your milk supply
  • Try squats when settling your baby, walking briskly, running on the spot and water aerobics
  • Make sure you are  drinking plenty of water and eating a nutritious diet to maintain your milk supply

Questions? Ask someone who has been there

Breastfeeding NZ is the largest community network in our country

The Breastfeeding New Zealand Facebook page is a place where breastfeeding mothers, mums-to-be, and their friends and family can come to share experiences, find out information and get support.
Their goal is to make breastfeeding a natural and normal part of everyday life. Breastfeeding NZ want more and more New Zealand babies to be breastfed for at least six months. You can check out their YouTube channel here, too. 

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