Breastfeeding Tips by Maria Betsworth of Little Peach London
Hi Mamas, my name is Maria and I am an Acupuncturist, Doula, Antenatal (“Prenatal”) & Postnatal and Breastfeeding practitioner and most importantly a Mama of two little girls (2.5 years and 9 months) and together with my husband, we live in the heart of London. I have started Little Peach to encourage, support, advice and motivate breastfeeding and pumping mamas with daily “little peaches ”
I would like to talk a little about my breastfeeding journey with these two young ladies as the experiences could not have been more opposite. My first daughter was born after a 36 hour labour that led to an emergency C section. Drugged up and feeling overwhelmed, we started our breastfeeding journey and from the beginning encountered nothing but difficulties. She would not latch, wouldn’t stay on my breast, and all she did do was cry a lot, regardless of the breastfeeding position or being held close to my breasts. It broke my heart, and I went to multiple breastfeeding Cafe’s, seeking professional help from lactation consultants but none of it worked. However, I was determined to provide for her, I had plenty of milk and she would get the best nutrition. So, I started pumping. I pumped day and night, every two hours for 12 long months. With alarms set all the time, I pumped everywhere: in airports, toilets, cars you name it. She took to the bottle like it was the most natural thing and although I was disappointed that we did not breastfeed like “normal,” I am proud that I did what I did for her.
20 months later, I welcomed my second daughter into this world , a swift two hour labour and this little pink screaming baby landed straight onto my breast, wriggled herself in position in search for the milk, latched on and has not left my breasts since. I was, and still am, astonished on how easy and natural breastfeeding can be had I not known the hardest route to take before.
My youngest daughter can literally feed hanging over my shoulder if she needs to and we have not encountered any difficulties so far. I am happy and sad that my first daughter never got the hang of it. And I am proud of how straightforward breastfeeding can be. I can empathize with any woman out there that imagines breastfeeding their child but encounters difficulties they did not image before– and I can now also relate to all the mamas that have a beautiful journey.
I feel like pregnancy gets all the attention with books, apps, classes, and of course rightly so as this it the most exciting time in your life , BUT once you have given birth, a different kind of work and care starts. There are a lot of things you will have to learn and breastfeeding, as natural as it can be, takes patience and practice and many mamas get lost in realising what it actually involves to keep a mini human alive with their own body. This is why I have created “Little Peach” to offer friendly guidance and a space where we can connect and overcome every day problems of the breastfeeding and pumping world. I dedicate my “little peach of the day” to all these milk making mamas that want to breastfeed, are breastfeeding but encounter difficulties and want to overcome them, or are pumping. So here are some of my “little peaches” for all you lovely Mamas that have just given birth and some breastfeeding basics :
- the early milk colostrum is coming out in very small amounts, baby needs to feed constantly to practice and to drain your breast
- if you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby and baby is latching on proper and feeds often you will make the perfect amount of milk for baby’s needs
- to know if you are making enough simple watch baby’s behaviour after a feed look for calmness, happy baby perhaps even sleepy, additional a steady weight gain and regular wet and poopy diapers also indicate a good supply
- It is worrying not knowing what goes in but mamas milk is flowing, although you can’t see it go into a bottle to measure it trust your baby and watch behaviour
take every day as it comes and no two days are the same in the motherhood world. What worked and seemed like a routine one day can be completely different the next day. So go with baby’s flow for the first 6 weeks after baby is born and learn from baby’s cues
- there is a lot of pressure that comes with being the sole provider of nutrition and newborns feed a lot so spare time might be limited, which I struggled with a lot. Second time around I just cancelled all visitors unless they were bringing food and willing to watch me breastfeed.
the endless feeding sessions are called cluster feeding and mostly happen in the evening. They do NOT indicate anything wrong with your milk supply– get comfortable, and perhaps establish feeding in a more laid back position so you can get some rest whilst baby is nursing. Get your family members involved to bring you food and drink so you can recover from birth and establish breastfeeding
- I know it can be lonely and overwhelming but you are NOT alone. Get in touch, let it out, I am happy to listen and support you and together we get your breastfeeding journey off to the right start.
- if you have reached a crossroads in your breastfeeding journey or got off to a rough start, reach out and seek help – not every journey needs to end because you have encountered difficulties
- breastfeeding is not just for nutritional support of your growing child it is also a mothering tool that can offer closeness, bonding, stress relief, and anxiety smoothing.
- to establish a great milk supply whilst pumping the golden rule is to regularly and effectively drain your breast. Meaning pumping in regular intervals (every 2-3hrs) during the day. If you can throw in a power pump 10 minutes each side then break 10 minutes and repeat to up the amount your are pumping
- regardless of you are pumping or breastfeeding, milk production works as such:
If milk is being drunk or pumped, the body will continue to produce milk to fill up the amount removed. Your body will also adjust this amount of milk (supply) depending on how little or how much milk is needed (demand)
- regardless of what road you took in your breastfeeding or pumping journey , if you have breastfed for a day, a week, a month or a year you all deserve a medal because with your love and care you have grown this little human and YOUR milk has made THIS BABY!
- Well done milk making mamas
If you need any help during your breastfeeding or pumping journey , simply want to know all things about boobs or want to say hi do so @littlepeachlondon
My name is Maria, I am 28 years old and live in the heart of London with my husband and two daughters (2.5 years and 9 months). I studied Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. Once I had completed my studies I started specialising in pregnancy, birth, antenatal and postnatal care and breastfeeding counselling. Having encountered two very different births and breastfeeding journeys myself, I have now started my own business supporting breastfeeding and pumping mamas throughout daily challenges and provide motivation on how to overcome these. I am passionate to help any mama find a way that works for them and their child, through the challenges that breastfeeding and motherhood might bring.
*note from YZM. Please also remember to give yourself a break and SLEEP when you can.