Breastfeeding tips: Other things to look out for

(8 ratings)
Your baby should take a big mouthful with the whole areola (darker bit around the nipple) in his mouth, not just the nipple. You'll know if your baby is sucking, as you'll see his jaw move up and down; when your milk starts to flow, you'll hear gulping sounds as he swallows. Let him feed as long as he wants from the first breast, then offer the second if he still seems hungry.

When to contact your GP

Occasionally, a cracked nipple can lead to blocked ducts or mastitis. With mastitis, the whole breast is very sore, hot, red and swollen. If you think you have this, contact your GP, as you'll probably need antibiotics.

Home remedies:
As well as using lanolin-based creams, here are several self-help techniques:
  • Cabbage leaves. These really do work! Keep cabbage leaves cool in the fridge and apply when your breasts are sore.
  • A damp flannel helps in the same way. Use a warm one before feeding and a cool one after.


What to look for in feeding bras

If you intend to breastfeed your baby, a well-fitting nursing bra is essential. It's designed to support your breasts and make it easy for you to feed your baby. You'll probably need at least two or three bras; you're constantly producing milk, so they'll need to be washed frequently. Things to bear in mind when shopping for feeding bras are:
  • Comfort: Your breasts will vary in size, depending on whether you've just fed, or are about to feed your baby. So look for adjustable straps and fastenings and fabric with give. High cotton content is best for comfort.
  • Ease of use: A simple clip with a drop-down cup is essential.
  • A good fit all-round: An ill-fitting bra will be uncomfortable during breastfeeding, and can also interfere with your milk production by blocking ducts. Night-time nursing bras are lighter to wear, but instead of opening in the usual way for feeding, they tend to have a cross-over front design.


Continued below...

The best time to buy your nursing bra is during the last month of your pregnancy. Make sure you're expertly fitted. John Lewis's Lingerie Fitting Advice Service offers free consultations and is a great way to make sure you're wearing the correct size. For your nearest John Lewis store, call 08456 049049 or visit

All pages in this article

  1. 1. Breastfeeding tips
  1. 2. Breastfeeding tips: Other things to look out for

Your rating

Average rating

  • 4
(8 ratings)

Your comments

comments powered by Disqus

FREE Newsletter