Breast Feeding Page HeaderAll the essential information you need to know about breastfeeding

  • Making the right decision
  • The benefits at a glance
  • This is how it works
  • Solving Problems
Mother Breastfeeding

Trust your instinct

Midwives, breastfeeding consultants and doctors all agree: breastfeeding is best for your baby. Breastfeeding provides baby with all the nutrients they need, it helps build a strong emotional bond between mother and child and it’s free!

Both you and your baby were born with everything you need to be able to successfully breastfeed and experience has shown that the more a mother knows about breastfeeding, the more prepared she is, and the more successful she will be at breastfeeding her baby.

Of course the reality is that unfortunately not all mothers can successfully breastfeed, perhaps for medical reasons or there may be personal or practical reasons why breastfeeding just isn’t an option. In these situations bottle feeding is a good, practical alternative.

Bottles can be used to feed your baby expressed breast milk which offers practical advantages and also means the closeness and bonding that comes from feeding a baby can be shared with a partner, family or friends. Another alternative is feeding your baby with formula milk from a bottle; this is a perfectly adequate alternative to breast milk in situations where breast milk is not available.

Your baby can grow and develop healthily irrespective of whether you choose to breastfeed them or choose to feed them with either breast milk or formula milk via a bottle. Trust your instincts and ensure that in those precious first few days you choose a feeding method that both you and your baby are relaxed and comfortable with, this will help develop a close and loving bond between mother and baby that will last a lifetime!

 
Mother Breastfeeding

The best for your baby and for you

Breast milk contains everything your baby needs in the first few months of life - in exactly the right quantity and composition, always available and completely free of charge.

No other baby food offers this level of protection against infections and illnesses. Studies show: breastfed babies suffer significantly less frequently from middle ear infections, diarrhoea or respiratory and urinary tract infections. They are often also less susceptible to certain illnesses in adulthood, such as some intestinal diseases or adult-onset diabetes.

Sucking on the breast helps strengthen the muscles in your baby’s mouth and helps the jaw to develop. This training has a positive effect during the later stages of development, when baby begins eating solid foods and during speech development.

If you breastfeed your baby exclusively in the first six months, you can reduce the risk of allergies by up to 50 percent. The most important thing here is to ensure that no foreign proteins enter your baby’s intestine – as is the case with food made from cow’s milk.

Breastfeeding works wonders for your soul. You relax and refuel on energy. And from the very first time you breastfeed your baby, your body releases large amounts of hormones, which make the maternal feelings even stronger.

Your health benefits too: Breastfeeding your baby regularly from an early stage reduces the risk of infections and bleeding after birth. And the risk of breast cancer is also reduced.

 
Mother Breastfeeding

Just follow the rules of your own body

As soon as your baby feeds at your breast after birth, your mammary glands start to work. One hormone stimulates the preparation of the breast milk, while another causes the food to be released. Your body produces just the right amount of milk, at just the right temperature.

If you want to breastfeed, don’t add any other food to your baby’s diet – even if there are times when your baby won't drink properly and you worry that they are not getting enough food. Your baby knows exactly when and how much breast milk they need to grow big and strong. And the mammary glands in your breasts react immediately. By the third day at the latest, your breasts will produce less milk. And the same also applies to the opposite scenario. When your baby gets bigger and wants more milk, the quantity is increased accordingly. As your baby sucks harder and more frequently on your breast, your mammary glands produce more milk to meet the increased demand.

Things you should always remember when breastfeeding: Your baby drinks what goes into your body. Alcohol, cigarettes, medication. You should therefore avoid anything which could damage your health – especially diets which cause toxins stored in your body to enter the breast milk. Allow yourself to eat as much as you like. You should make sure you eat a varied and healthy diet, consisting of lots of fruit and vegetables, as well as dairy products, eggs, meat and fish. But be prepared: Even healthy food can have unpleasant side effects. Oranges cause some babies to develop sore bottoms and garlic, pulses, cabbage and even wholemeal can sometimes cause severe flatulence.

 
Mother Breastfeeding

To many breastfeeding problems there is one solution: NUK

Wonderful and important though breastfeeding is, it can sometimes be a little tricky, particularly in the beginning. After all, you and your baby have to learn to work as an efficient team. So don’t give up right away if it doesn’t work the way you imagined.

NUK offers a range of options for solving many breastfeeding problems quickly, leaving you and your baby to focus on enjoying every moment of the breastfeeding experience.

Click here to visit our breastfeeding support products.

 

Trusted by experts

Clare Byam-Cook, the UK’s leading breastfeeding expert gives her advice on breastfeeding …

Clare Byam-Cook“In an ideal world, breastfeeding would be so natural and easy that no equipment is needed other than the mothers' own breasts! But the reality is that many mothers don't find it as easy as everyone makes out and approximately 50% give up breastfeeding within the first six weeks. In my partnership with NUK, I give advice about how to latch a baby on easily and pain-free and also how to use various breastfeeding aids such as nipple shields and breast pumps, which can make all the difference between success and failure.“

Clare Byam-Cook

 

Clare Byam-Cook trained as a nurse and a midwife before specialising in breastfeeding and now offers private consultations with mothers who are struggling to breastfeed , her client list includes a long list of well known celebrities such as Kate Winslet, Lilly Allen and Kate Beckinsdale. Clare is the author of best selling book “What To Expect When You're Breast-feeding... And What If You Can't?” and has created the DVD “Breastfeeding without tears” to help mothers overcome breastfeeding problems. For more information on Clare and her breastfeeding techniques and advice please visit www.clarebyamcook.co.uk.
 
When can I start using a breast pump?

As soon as your milk starts coming in. A pump can be used to help clear blocked ducts or engorged breasts, to give you a break from feeding if you are suffering from sore nipples and to maintain your milk supply if your baby is unable to latch on. (See page 89 in my book for full details on how and when to use a breast pump)

Does a baby always get more milk out of the breast than pump?

This is a common myth that only applies to a very small number of mothers who are never able to express milk with a pump, even when their breasts are full. But for the majority of mothers, a pump will get as much (and sometimes more) milk out of the breast as the baby does.

My baby doesn't open his mouth wide, which is making latching difficult. What can I do?

This is a common problem, which is why I teach mothers to make their breast smaller rather than expecting their baby to open his mouth wider. You can do this by gently squeezing your breast on either side of the areola. (As demonstrated on my DVD and described on page 103 in my book)

Does every mother produce enough milk?

No. Some mothers are very unlucky and simply do not produce enough milk, however hard they try.

My baby keeps choking and pulling off the breast. What can I do?

This happens when a mother has a very fast let-down and the baby gets overwhelmed by the flow of milk. A quick and easy solution is to use a nipple shield to regulate the flow of milk until such time as the baby may be able to cope better. Sometimes it is only necessary to use the shield for the first few minutes of each feed but some babies cannot cope at all without one and need to use it throughout the entire feed.

How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?

Your baby is feeding well if he does deep rhythmic sucks, settles well after feeds and gains the right amount of weight. If he is not doing this, you should check his latch, your milk supply and exclude problems such as wind, colic or reflux which may be disturbing his sleep.

Will I confuse my breastfed baby if I give him bottles?

Once breastfeeding is fully established, it is usually fine to give your baby the occasional bottle of expressed milk. But if your baby is struggling to breastfeed effectively (maybe because you have a slow milk flow, he finds it difficult to latch on or he doesn't suck very strongly) he may well start preferring the easier bottle. It is certainly a myth that breastfeeding will be ruined forever if the baby is given even one bottle or nipple shield.

If I use a nipple shield, will it reduce my milk supply?

Only if your baby is unable to get the milk as easily through the shield as he does when feeding directly from the breast. If he is settling well and gaining weight you can carry on using the shield for as long as this remains the case. But if he is clearly not emptying the breast effectively, your milk supply will definitely reduce if you continue to use a shield.

Do breastfed babies need winding?

Yes! Although some babies never suffer from wind, the majority of babies need winding at least once during a feed, regardless of whether they are being fed from a breast or bottle.

Are sore nipples part and parcel of breastfeeding?

No. If a baby is latched on correctly, breastfeeding should not hurt. If you are experiencing pain you should ask a health professional to check your latch and also exclude problems such as tongue tie or thrush.

Breastfeeding Aids

We all know that "Breast is Best" but the reality is that many mothers struggle to establish pain-free, successful breastfeeding, mothers can however be enormously helped by breastfeeding aids which is why NUK has developed a range of breast pumps, breast pads and nipple shields to aid successful breastfeeding.

Breast Pumps

Breast pumps can really help new Mums who are struggling to breastfeed naturally. Also, it may be necessary for Mum and baby to be apart at times so a pump means breast milk can be expressed and given to baby later. Expressing milk can also give Dad and other family and friends a chance to feed and bond with baby.

Manual or electric?

As every nursing mother has different needs and requirements there are electric and manual breast pumps on offer. Electric Breast Pumps are perfect for quick and regular expressing at home. Manual Breast Pumps are perfect for use while travelling and out and about.

Milk Storage

Milk Containers are the perfect all in one container, great for expressing, freezing, warming and feeding without transferring.

Breast Milk Containers
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Nipple Shields

Nipple Shields help protect sensitive nipples during breastfeeding. 

Silicone Nipple Shield
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Breast pads

Breast pads are a useful aid to help keep clothing dry during breastfeeding.

Breast Pads
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