Breastfeeding is nature’s wonderful way of nurturing and protecting pēpi in the first weeks, months and years. It is most likely to happen when the pēpi and māmā/parent are also nurtured and protected, and we all have a role to play in this.
This section outlines some of the ways whānau and friends can manaaki/care for, tautoko/support, and tiaki/protect breastfeeding; thus, nurturing and protecting whānau ora.
Dads, partners, and whānau can be wonderful supporters for breastfeeding mums/parents! Supporting breastfeeding is an important role and dads are really important. Breastfeeding is more likely to go well if their partners and whānau are supportive.
Don’t be in a rush to get māmā and pēpi out of the house in the first few weeks after birth. It can take a while for them to feel like they are ready to face the world outside. However, when you do head out, check out the breastfeeding friendly cafes on this webpage and make sure you know where breastfeeding whānau are going to feel safe and supported. What is great about taking breastfeeding babies out, is that you don’t need to think about all the things you need to take to be able to feed them. Just some accessible clothing.
It’s much harder to breastfeed without the support of fathers, partners, whānau and friends, so hang in there everyone. It’s worth it for the short and long-term.
Breastfeeding māmā often get told a whole lot of things about breastfeeding that really aren’t true, such as ‘you don’t have enough breastmilk’, ‘your breastmilk isn’t good enough’, ‘you’re breastfeeding/picking up the baby too much’, ‘breastfeeding should stop at six months’, ‘formula is as good as breastmilk’ etc. If whānau and friends find out more about breastfeeding they can not only avoid saying these things themselves, but they can support the breastfeeding māmā and pēpi by informing the person saying them that they are unlikely to be true, and that it would be helpful if they were more supportive. This kind of support can make a huge difference to breastfeeding.
They say it takes a village to raise a child and nothing is more true in the first few months. When planning to welcome pēpi, consider the resources you have in your community. Who can you enlist to start a meal donating system? Who can you call when things are really tough? Who are your breastfeeding champions? Where is your local breastfeeding support group?
Considering these things prior to your birth means you will be less stressed when you suddenly need them. Attending a breastfeeding support group while hapū is a great way to break down the barriers that can create anxiety about attending once baby is here (Where will I park? Will they be welcoming of new people? What even happens at a breastfeeding support group? etc.).
Becoming new parents is a big thing, and developing your own parenting style can take time to grow into. Talking about anything that is worrying either of you is a good idea. Ask your family for support and find out more about where to get help if you need it from outside the family by talking to your midwife or Tamariki Ora Well Child nurse.
Breastfeeding Peer Supporters can be found at almost all the breastfeeding groups listed in our support section.
Breastfeeding Peer Supporters or Counsellors are mothers of all ages and ethnicities who have recently breastfed a baby, or babies, and who are keen to support other mums just like them. They have taken part in a 20–24-hour course to learn more about breastfeeding and communication, and they are available to support all mothers in Canterbury.
Have you thought about how your whānau will manage this? Babies need to be fed whenever they are hungry and sometimes that is not when the environment is ideal. In some spaces, it is difficult to find appropriate seating. Some places don’t have appropriate changing areas. There may be a few people in the community who feel uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding in a public area – so it’s great to develop a plan for these things before you head out.
Just to reassure you, if you are really worried about this, breastfeeding can be managed easily without anyone noticing, apart from you (whānau member) and the breastfeeding māmā/parent (well, the baby will know too of course!) If the breastfeeding parent is anxious, they can use a scarf, or find a top that covers their breast/chest. Many places are now aware of the importance of considering breastfeeding when they develop their organisations, which is how it should be.
All members of the family/whānau have a role to play in supporting the breastfeeding parents and the new family.
If you’ve breastfed a baby yourself you may have some tips to pass on to the new mum but remember that it’s still important to listen to what the breastfeeding mum/parent is saying, give information but hold back on the prescriptive advice. Telling mums or new parents what to do can undermine their confidence, so it is likely to be helpful to wait until you are asked for suggestions, and to offer a range of options that may help the situation rather than suggesting the parents ‘should’ do something.
Breastfeeding takes a great deal of time and energy – especially in the first weeks when the māmā / breastfeeding parent is recovering from birth, learning a brand-new skill on which the survival of another being depends, and is managing interrupted sleep. It really helps to ensure there is a plan for others to do the work that needs to be done around the house – tidying, cooking, hanging out and folding the washing, changing, washing and sorting nappies, and dealing with older children and visitors in the hospital and at home.
Breastfeeding is only one part of caring for a baby and there are lots of things dads/partners/whānau can do to develop a close relationship with the baby too. As babies grow, they like to play, talk to their parents, and have stories read to them.
Once they are used to having their clothes off, babies also enjoy bath/shower-times with dad/partner/whānau. Going for walks, having close cuddle times and being carried in a sling are also options. Nappy changing is also a way of being involved with the baby! Ways to bond info-sheet.
As well as being a late cue for breastfeeding, crying happens when babies are unsettled for a range of reasons. (See also Feeding Cues under Manaakitanga). It’s part of normal newborn behaviour as they are getting used to the world, and it can be upsetting for tired parents. Dads, partners and whānau can help settle the baby by making sure the baby’s early feeding cues are noticed and attended to, and by carrying/rocking an unsettled baby to calm her/him and help with settling. Giving the unhappy baby a nice warm bath can help too. As you get to know your baby more, you’ll learn very quickly what works for you all.
Peak crying time often happens at about four weeks, so don’t panic – kia tau (be calm), carry on supporting the breastfeeding parent, and try and settle the baby with all the tricks in your developing parental repertoire. Ask for help if you are finding it hard to cope with unsettled newborn behaviour.
Enjoy watching the bond develop between the breastfeeding parent/mum and baby, between you and pēpi, and between pēpi and other whānau members. Even though breastfeeding is a one-parent activity, dads, partners, and other whānau members can enjoy the baby by holding them, bathing them, and having cuddles. All of these things strengthen the whānau bond.
Hormones are chemicals in the body that make changes happen. They are released into the bloodstream and are pumped around until they locate their matching cells or receptor cells. Once the hormone connects with its receptor cells, magic happens. There are a few hormones involved in breastfeeding.
Oxytocin helps the māmā and pēpi relax during breastfeeding/chestfeeding, and delivers the milk to the baby with the let-down. It is also what helps re-set the metabolism after breastfeeding which is likely to be what helps breastfeeders lose pregnancy weight and be less vulnerable to things like diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Oxytocin release is supported by, and contributes to, calm, comfortable and familiar environments and warm interpersonal interactions. These things will greatly support birth recovery, the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding, and bonding with pēpi.
Prolactin is responsible for making milk. It is released by the brain when pēpi feeds or when the breast is emptying and triggers the breast to make milk from blood.
Although these hormonal changes are most pronounced in breastfeeding parents, they are increased in the bodies of anyone caring for pēpi. These hormones encourage supportive, protective and caring behaviours, which are helpful in any situation. The more engagement people have with babies, the more natural these kinds of behaviours will become for them. This is of great help to the breastfeeding parent, and to the pēpi.
Skin-to-skin is a wonderful thing to do. It calms māmā and pēpi after birth, puts them in the best place to start thinking about the first breastfeed, and starts the process of birth recovery.
Skin-to-skin should be part of your birth plan. It keeps your baby warm and snuggly so there are no worries about temperature. Fathers, partners and whānau can also have some skin-to-skin time too. If the baby does not breastfeed within the first hour – don’t panic – just keep supporting and encouraging mother-baby skin-to-skin for as long as you can – if the breastfeeding parent and baby are transferring to another maternity unit you can start skin-to-skin after you all settle into the new postnatal room, or after the māmā and pēpi have had a sleep. Talk to your midwife about skin-to-skin.
Being close to the baby through breastfeeding and/or cuddling releases oxytocin – the falling-in-love hormone. Oxytocin (see also Hormones in this section) is contagious, and this closeness and connection is protective of all whānau relationships.
It’s easy to see the close bond that babies develop with their māmā/parent through breastfeeding, but dads/partners/whānau can have the same connected feeling by holding the baby close and spending time with the baby when they are quietly alert.
Your baby will start to smile at you – often sooner than you think. Often babies are smiling before four weeks of age, and if you see a smile that’s in response to your smile or when you talk to the baby, it’s more likely that this is really a smile and not wind. Babies love looking at their parents’ faces and start to make vocal sounds in response to talking when they are really young.
What all new parents need while they are learning to breastfeed. Dads, partners, whānau and friends can provide reassurance and support to help build up parents’ confidence.
Rooming in with pēpi in the maternity facility helps get breastfeeding/chestfeeding off to a good start. If you’ve birthed your baby at home you’ll already be ‘rooming-in’ with the baby close by, but now all maternity facilities in Aotearoa New Zealand are keeping mums and babies together whenever possible. It’s part of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative which is designed to be supportve of all whānau with new pēpi, and to help support breastfeeding beginnings. Staying close to your baby means that you can start learning about your baby’s cues straight away.
Firstly, as the māmā/birthing parent is recovering from the birth, she/they will be tired from lack of sleep, and there may also be some pain associated with the birth as everything heals. Breastfeeders/chestfeeders may feel like they are feeding a lot. This can make them feel ‘touched out’ and their breasts may also feel full of milk and sometimes sore. Vaginal dryness is also common while breastfeeding and this can make sex painful and not very desirable. Desire for sex can be temporarily impacted by hormones of feeding and of care. This will often happen for men who are involved in their baby’s care too. It is almost like the family unit has more important things to focus on for a little while.
There are other ways to be intimate apart from penetration, so trying other types of physical intimacy is a good idea. Lubrication can help with that vaginal dryness when you are both ready. Another thing that new parents may not be expecting is milk leaking from the breastfeeding parent’s breasts during love-making. Leaking breasts, particularly during orgasm, is also very normal and doesn’t mean there is anything wrong (keep a towel handy).
The baby-blues or post-natal depression can also affect mood, energy levels and sex drive, so if you think your partner has some signs of depression make sure you find some help. Talk to the midwife, well child nurse or GP.
The smell of breastmilk is a trigger for a sleepy baby to wake up for a feed, and it can also soothe a distressed baby as well. The breast also secretes pheromones and this māmā-smellscape (like a landscape but about a range of scents) not only activates appetite and soothes crying, but it can stimulate the baby to open her/his eyes as well. So sleepy babies wake for feeds better when in close contact with mum.
Babies may need feeding at any time and will give you cues for a feed they are ready. They don’t have a clock to look at, just an internal one that ‘rings’ when they need feeding!
It is best for them to offer them food whenever they show their feeding cues. They are like to feed far more effectively when they can do it according to their body’s needs, rather than to the clock – especially in the early weeks.
Breastfeeding is not just about the milk. It’s much more than a food. It soothes a baby because of the closeness to mum, the rhythm of the sucking, and the release of calming Hormones. Babies who are secure become much calmer and more settled.
Crying is a late cue and it’s harder to support babies onto the breast when they are crying. Early cues are the best – new babies may give you feeding cues even with their eyes closed. Babies can be offered a breastfeed when they start to make mouthing or rooting movements with their mouths, lick their lips, stick their tongue out, or make sucking sounds. If mum and baby are establishing breastfeeding using the early cues really helps. Video showing feeding cues.
Breasts never actually get empty as they are not like bottles. Babies generally take about 75% of the available milk in the breast. Breast pumps remove about 50% of the milk. The more frequent and effective the breastfeeds are (especially in theearly weeks) the more the breastmilk is removed and then the milk synthesis speeds up. Synthesis just means that breastmilk is made by combining different things from the māmā’s blood, and when breastmilk is removed effectively the breast makes the milk faster!
Preparing breakfast, lunch or dinner, offering a sandwich and a glass of water while the māmā / feeding parent are great activities for dads, partners, grandparents, whānau and friends.
Preparing meals before the baby is born and freezing them is a great idea. It is very helpful for visitors to be reminded of the value of a gifted meal (door sign). Slow cookers can be very useful. Throw some casserole ingredients in there in the morning and dinner is served at the end of the day.
Friends are really important but keep your visits to the new family brief while they are getting to know each other in the first week after birth, and while breastfeeding is establishing.
While you are visiting, doing the dishes, hanging out, bringing in, or folding the washing, and making a cup of tea is usually very appreciated.
It’s been mentioned before but here it is again. New parents need lots of help and support. Breastfeeding parents need the load of managing the household to be shared – especially in the early weeks, but actually, at all times.
Help can take many forms – shopping, keeping other children amused (books, games, walks) tidying, cooking, and dishes. A listening non-judgemental ear is also helpful. (Door sign).
Night-time breastfeeds are normal and you can expect babies to wake for feeds whether they are breast or bottle-fed. Research does show that it saves time when you breastfeed – and that means less time awake in the middle of the night. Keep your baby in the same room and close to you at night to make night-time feeds easier to manage. Remember the breast is ‘ready to go’ right temperature and right there when you need it.
It takes time to recover from birth, to learn to breastfeed and to adjust to parenting. Be kind to each other during this time. (See Intimacy and Sex under Aroha)
It takes a while to recover from birth and you will all be tired, so try and sleep when you can. When the baby sleeps, encourage the māmā / breastfeeding parent to take a nap too.
Some parents take it in turns to have an extra sleep while one parent looks after the baby for a couple of hours. Work out what will work for you as a family. See Sleep under Ōranga.
Understanding the changes that have happened in your lives is really important. Adjusting to parenthood takes time. Understanding how breastfeeding works is important too. Babies feed frequently and that means twelve times in twenty-four hours (or sometimes more) is not unusual.
All support people should know that frequent feeding is normal, that the baby can’t be spoiled by having cuddles and contact, that it’s recommended that babies are fed only breastmilk for the first six months, and that after the introduction of appropriate other foods, breastfeeding continuation up to one year or beyond is optimal. (The New Zealand Ministry of Health suggest one year and beyond while the World Health Organisation suggest two years and beyond.)
Watch the baby and not the clock. Learn about your baby’s feeding cues so when you see them you can take the baby to mum for a breastfeed. Changing pēpi’s nappy before feeding, and make sure mum has a glass of water to drink while feeding will be really helpful.
It is advised to avoid offering the baby a teat, pacifier or a dummy – at least until breastfeeding is established well (which can take up to six weeks and sometimes longer). Teats, pacifiers and dummies can interfere with the baby learning about sucking at the breast.
A lovely activity for dads/partners/whānau to do to get that feeling of closeness with the baby. Skin-to-skin contact (see the Aroha section) stimulates the release of the love hormone Oxytocin (see Hormones in the Aroha section) and that makes everyone feel good. Bonding Info-sheet
Ensure you think about breastfeeding when your whānau is making your birth-plan.
Things that tend to help breastfeeding go well are birthing in a warm, safe, familiar and calm environment whenever possible, delayed cord tying/clamping, skin-to-skin between māmā and pēpi after birth, not separating the breastfeeding parent and baby, and getting support to make sure breastfeeding gets off to a good start. Dads, partners and whānau can help make sure that these practices happen (unless there is a medical reason which can mean a delay sometimes).
Check out this video from My Māori Midwife.
When learning to breastfeed it can be really difficult to latch the baby on the breast with too many visitors around. This is another instance where partners/whānau can be really supportive. If in the maternity facility you could suggest that everyone goes out for a short coffee or tea break or keeps their visits short, to give māmā some private time to relax and breastfeed. At home crowd control could be as simple as a note on the door to say mum and baby are resting, or making sure mum and baby can have some private time for breastfeeding in a quiet space away from visitors.
Sometimes parents expect breastfeeding babies to feed every three to four hours, but they very rarely do this. In fact, most breastfed babies will feed between 8 and 12 times in 24 hours (sometimes more and sometimes less) and this is very normal. Little tummies need frequent feeding. When babies feed frequently, sometimes whānau think that’s a sign there’s something wrong with their milk – there’s not enough milk or it’s not good enough milk – but this is hardly ever true. (See Growth Spurts under Ōranga and Mythology under Wairuatanga)
Breastmilk fights infections. Breastmilk contains special ingredients that not only help the baby’s immune system to develop strongly but can also make specialised prescriptions of infection-fighting cells that travel directly through breastmilk to the baby when needed. That’s why breastfed babies get infections much less frequently and much less severely than babies who don’t get breastfed. Breastfeeding protects babies from ear, chest, tummy and bladder infections.
Pēpi’s immune system is developing all the time and reaches maturity when they are around two years of age. Because breastmilk is chock full of immune antibodies it supports the baby’s immature immune system to develop well.
Sometimes breastfeeding gets off to a difficult start and baby and māmā have some challenges in getting breastfeeding initiated and established. Some things that parents need to keep an eye (and to seek support about from their midwife or Well Child nurse) on are when babies are not waking on their own to breastfeed, their output is low (wees and poos), and they are not gaining weight, or are losing weight.
If the māmā/breastfeeding parent has persistent pain with breastfeeding, or if they are feeling unwell or sad, it’s good to talk about that too with your midwife or Well Child nurse. (See Sore Nipples)
Breastfeeding is the first vaccination a baby gets. The early milk – colostrum – is chock full of very important antibodies to protect pēpi, and all breastmilk always has living cells and antibodies present. Colostrum and breastmilk in the pēpi’s gut also helps to set up a healthy digestive system with helpful bacteria – the microbiome. Check out this animated video for more information about the microbiome – videos
Breastfeeding is zero waste and has zero food miles. As such it is very environmentally-friendly.
It’s a human right to breastfeed and whānau can breastfeed anywhere they are allowed to be. Fathers, partners, whānau and friends can support this by making sure they know about their rights. Check out the information from the Human Rights Commission here.
Check out our section about breastfeeding friendly spaces and if the mum is planning to continue breastfeeding when returning to the paid workforce check out the Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Initiative section to learn more about how to manage this and how to contact an advocate if support or more information is needed.
Breastmilk changes to meet the needs of the baby. It’s pretty amazing! The first milk – colostrum – delivers a massive immune system boost to your baby in the first few days after birth. Then as the milk becomes greater in amount the contents keep adjusting to be exactly what your baby needs to grow and stay well. Breastmilk never runs out of nutrients or immune system support cells. It changes flavour too depending on what mums eat – vanilla, garlic and carrot flavours have been identified.
Breastfeeding supports a baby’s development – brain and nervous system, growth and immunity.
Breastfeeding mums/parents don’t need to eat anything special and they don’t need to over-drink water. Just drinking to thirst is all that’s needed but having a glass of water ready or brought to a mother while she’s breastfeeding is a great idea.
Breastmilk is amazing regardless of what mothers eat, but eating healthy food helps mothers keep up their energy levels, recover from childbirth and stay well.
– are what happen to babies because, well, they’re growing all the time! Because babies have these growth spurts, or frequency times, they will be letting you know they need to feed more. This is normal but sometimes parents (and others) think this more frequent feeding means they there isn’t enough milk or that the milk is somehow lacking.
Reassurance and support to get through these busy times is needed. More feeding makes more milk too and sucking at the breast supports baby through her/his stages of development.
Babies are protected from infections by breastfeeding, but they are also protected from some childhood cancers, diabetes, obesity, asthma and sudden unexpected infant death (SUDI) too. Breastfeeding is great for mum’s health too, with some protection from breast and ovarian cancers, reduced heart disease and osteoporosis risk.
Breastfeeding really is an investment in the future health of your whānau/family.
Breastmilk is always ‘Just right’ – not only in terms of nutrition, but it’s ready to go and at the right temperature too. The original fast food and the shortest food mile!
Breastfed babies have different looking/smelling nappies to formula-fed babies, so expect loose yellow poos from about day three to four after birth onwards.
Babies all start off with the dark green/black poos called meconium after birth, but with milk feeds, the poos start to change around day three to lighter green and then yellow (Some babies have yellow poos on day two after birth). Breastfed babies will have poos in all ranges of yellow and you can expect quite a few nappies with poos in each day right up until six weeks of age. Breastfed babies never get constipated but sometimes after about six weeks they can go for quite a few days without a bowel motion.
If you’re worried about what’s in the nappy, talk to your midwife (if before six weeks) or your Well Child nurse (after six weeks).
Wet Nappies – after the first day your breastfed baby will have around four wet nappies a day but then should have six wet Nappies (or more) every day. Good output is generally a really good sign of a good intake of milk. Check out this link for more information about output.
Another thing about nappies – it’s really helpful for breastfeeding mums if someone changes the baby and takes the baby to mum for breastfeeding, particularly in the early weeks after birth.
That important six letter word! Babies need feeding frequently and go through growth spurts too.
New parents are tired and often try and get their baby into a routine very early, or they expect babies to sleep through the night too when they are really not developmentally ready to do this.
The Infant Sleep Information Source website is full of helpful Sleep information for parents, and there’s also an app you can download.
Yes, it takes practice to establish breastfeeding for baby and for mum. It can take up to six weeks to establish breastfeeding. The first few days are about initiating breastfeeding, and then comes the work to establish breastfeeding. Sometimes babies need a bit more time than you both get in hospital after birth to sort themselves out with feeding. If you need to find extra support and information ask your midwife, and you can also check out our Support services section to find out where you can go for that extra help.
Learn about breastfeeding and how breasts and breastfeeding work before the birth of the baby— attend a class if you can (See the Support Services section), or read some information about breastfeeding on our A-Z.
Breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful but sometimes there is brief nipple tenderness on latching for the first ten days or so, and if the baby has not been latching at the breast correctly nipples can become damaged and more Painful.
Fathers, partners and whānau do not wish to see mums in Pain or to see them upset. That’s why sometimes it’s tempting to suggest to the mum that she should stop breastfeeding and turn to the bottle. Most women really do want to succeed at breastfeeding though and it’s really important to them, so support, reassurance and love is needed at these tricky times. You could suggest mum attends a breastfeeding group, or gets in touch with a breastfeeding Peer counsellor for that extra support from mums who’ve been through some challenges themselves. See the Support services section.
(also see Hormones in the Aroha section). Prolactin is the hormone responsible for turning on the milk-making mechanism in the breasts. In the early days after birth, each time the baby stimulates the nipple via sucking or touch, there is a fast increase in Prolactin secretion from the brain. Prolactin helps with bonding (just like Oxytocin) but also travels to the breast where it reminds the breast to make milk from the mother blood. Prolactin levels are also higher at night, so night-time feeding is important.
Breast pumps. Well, here’s the thing – most whānau do not need to use a breastpump. A lot of thinking around the need for breast pumps is a result of clever marketing of breastfeeding paraphernalia that most whānau don’t need.
Breastpumps can be useful in some situations. If the breastfeeding parent really does need a pump, make sure you find out the names of the pumps that actually work from your midwife, well child nurse, or breastfeeding peer supporter because some of the pumps on the market are not very effective). Using pumps that are not effective in removing enough milk can lead to a drop in milk supply.
Here are some reasons why a breast pump may be necessary – if breastfeeding parent and baby are going to be separated and breastfeeding is not possible, if there is a breastfeeding challenge that makes direct breastfeeding not possible, or the issue reduces the number of breastfeeds for a while, and if mum has a low milk supply for some reason and needs to boost her supply (more milk out = more milk made).
Breastmilk is always a quality product, served with lashings of love and giving your baby everything they need for the first six months.
Removing the breastmilk from the breast is very important for establishing the milk supply so it’s important to respond to the baby’s feeding cues and make sure the baby is latched on the breast correctly. (See Latching under the Mahi)
Breastfeeding is often promoted by highlighting the fact that it is free. However, there are a number of hidden costs that are important to consider.
It takes a lot of time, energy and commitment to breastfeed a baby. Studies have compared it to being close to a 40 hour working week. Thus, it is important to consider how other household tasks will be allocated amongst family-members without assuming the mother/breastfeeding parent will be responsible for everything.
There can also be associated costs of appointments and equipment. All of these costs are important to be aware of when we are advocating for more support for young families.
You’ll see lots of information that says breastfeeding/breastmilk is free. Well, it’s free in the sense that you don’t need to buy bottles, teats, sterilising equipment and formula milk (that really does save you lots of $$$$$. Estimates of savings are $1,200 per year or more) but it’s not completely free because you – the parents – have made a commitment to breastfeeding that may involve the breastfeeding parent staying away from the paid workforce a little longer. So, it’s more like an investment that saves your whānau Money in the short and long run, in terms of health and wellness, and it does reduce your need for feeding ‘equipment’ – and that saves money too.
It’s really important that the baby latches well on the breast to avoid sore nipples and to make sure breastmilk is removed effectively from the breast. Check out the great (but short) video about the baby latching at the breast.
Breastfeeding parents sometimes get sick and start taking medication. In most cases this will not affect breastfeeding, so it’s safe to keep breastfeeding on most Medications. Unfortunately many mums get told to stop breastfeeding when they really don’t need to. Ask your midwife or well child nurse to provide you with more information. You can also contact the CanBreastFeed health promoters/advocates and get information from them.
Ah, one of the wonderful hormones of breastfeeding. Feeling more relaxed? In the early days after birth, each time the baby stimulates the nipple via sucking or touch, there is a fast increase in prolactin secretion. Prolactin levels are also higher at night so night-time feeding is important.
You’ve probably got a lot more than we can answer on this page so check out our Breastfeeding Information A-Z for some commercial-free, evidence-based information to help you on your breastfeeding journey.
There is so much information out there these days that it can be really difficult to distill what is right from what isn’t and what is helpful from what isn’t. Lots of information about breastfeeding is subjective – it is dependent on a number of things and is therefore not black and white. Sometimes however, breastfeeding misinformation gets passed on that can have a damaging effect on breastfeeding confidence.
One such type of misinformation is that babies only feed every four hours like clockwork. Another is that they are supposed to sleep through the night at a very young age. Parents are sometimes told that their milk somehow runs out of value when the baby is a certain age. Two of the most damaging things that can be said to a new breastfeeding parent are that their milk supply is low, or the milk isn’t good enough. Parents are often told that babies should not be breastfed to sleep, when in fact, babies are biologically programmed to fall asleep at the breast.
The best defense against breastfeeding misinformation is reliable information and education. Check out our Information A-Z, get in touch with a breastfeeding group facilitator or peer supporter.
Parents who have lost a pēpi need extra care, support and love. This includes careful management of lactating breasts to avoid mastitis.
Please click here to find a pdf with information and links to helpful sites.