Breastfeeding usually becomes a bit, sometimes a lot more challenging as the temperatures rise, so with that in mind, I just wanted to give you a few tips to manage and deal with any lumps or blockages that may form as a result of inefficient feeds.
Water – Drink as much water as you can today to keep yourself hydrated and to keep your milk nice and dilute. This will ensure that your milk not only provides all baby’s nutrients but keeps baby hydrated too. If you aren’t a big ‘water drinker’ aim to down a quick glass before you sit down to feed and have another glass to hand during the feed.
*Make up a jug of water with ice, fresh mint, sliced orange, lemon or anything you have lying around that will add interest.
Baby’s position – During the feed, your baby’s position is key. Once your baby has latched, ensure that both baby’s cheeks touch your breast throughout the feed. This allows baby to drain the top and lower half of your breast evenly – better for you and baby. Pay special attention to baby’s lower cheek as this often is forgotten about and can lead to blockages developing in the lower half of breast, which often goes unnoticed, until you feel really rotten.
Massage – If you have any lumps already developing, check cheeks and then whilst baby is breastfeeding, massage the congested parts of your breast with a flat hand. This will just help to dislodge any blockages so that they clear or at least get smaller. As long as they are getting smaller, you know that things are getting better.
Lecithin – When your breast isn’t drained properly, fat molecules stick to the inner lining of your milk ducts and this creates a blockage. Lecithin is a soya bean extract and a fat emulsifier, so is perfectly safe to have whilst breastfeeding and will clear away any fat lining your ducts. It usually comes in 1200mg capsules and you can have 1 a day as a preventative or 2 – 4 a day as a treatment, depending on the level of congestion in your breasts.
Expressing – If breastfeeding is just not working and you and baby are getting a bit fed up with it all – express and bottle feed instead. Your pump is not affected by the heat and will drain your breasts efficiently. Express as often as you would feed, use breast massage to keep your milk flowing and drain the breast more efficiently.
As soon as the weather returns to normal or gets a bit cooler, feeds will become more settled. For tips on how to keep your baby cool enough to feed, click here.
Do the best that you can but know that it will all soon get better and it is not a sign of breastfeeding going horribly wrong – it’s just a side effect of our bi-annual heat wave.