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Breastfeeding
6+ months

Parenting doesn't stop for a pandemic and neither do we! Tresillian is here for you - 7 days a week. If you are having breastfeeding difficulties you can now self-refer to Tresillian services by calling our Parent’s Help Line on 1300 272 736. Call now to talk to one of our experienced nurses about which Tresillian service will best suit you.

Breastfeeding and introducing solids

By around six months of age, your baby will be ready to experience a variety of different foods to complement their breastmilk intake. 

  • From 6-8 months of age, offer your baby breastmilk, before solids so they can continue to receive adequate milk until their intake of solid foods is well established.
  • By 9-12 months your baby is likely to be on three meals a day. This is when you can allow your baby’s behaviour to guide whether you offer a breastfeed before or after their solid food.
  • Once solid foods are introduced, your baby may start to reduce the number of breastfeeds they require. For example at nine months, this could be a first feed in the morning, around lunch time, late afternoon and just before bedtime

Breastfeeding and Biting

From six months many babies start teething and for their mothers this can take be an unpleasant experience. Babies often start to bite on the breast when they are teething. The first bite is usually an accident. If the biting is a response to a slow let down, expressing a small amount of breastmilk to trigger your let down before you offer the breast may help.

Breastfeeding and working

Many mothers successfully combine work and breastfeeding. Workplaces now have greater awareness of the importance breastfeeding and may have work policies that will support you to continue to breastfeed.  

How to continue breastfeeding when returning to paid work

  • For babies aged 6-12 months, you can consider replacing breastfeeding during work hours with expressed breastmilk, formula and food from a spoon.
  • Try introducing your baby to the cup or bottle at least 2 to 3 weeks before returning to work. A baby can feed from a cup from about 7 months of age.
  • Express during the work day (either by hand or pump) to ensure your milk production is consistent with your baby’s needs and for personal comfort. You may need to talk to your employer about having access to refrigeration to store your expressed breastmilk.

Weaning

The best way to wean is gradually over time. As you or your baby reduces the number of breastfeeds, your milk supply will slowly decrease. This reduces the risk of blocked ducts and mastitis. Weaning slowly also gives you and your baby time to adjust.

  1. Start dropping the breastfeed that your baby seems least interested in. Then cut out one breastfeed every few days, or one each week
  2. Depending on the age of your baby replace the missed feeds with formula, cows' milk or water.
  3. For babies aged 6 months this is a good time to introduce solids
  4. Make sure you still spend plenty of time with your baby and give lots of cuddles.
  5. If your breasts become engorged, hand express or use a hand pump until you are comfortable. Do not try to empty your breasts as you do not want your supply to build up again.

TOP TIPS

  • No matter how long you or your baby decides to breastfeed, your milk is always nutritious and absolutely right for your baby's stage of development
  • You may hear other mothers say that their milk ‘dried up' or started looking 'thin and watery' or ‘wasn’t rich enough'. Breastmilk is naturally bluish and looks thin when compared to other milks.
  • If you have concerns about continuing to breastfeeding once you return to paid work, it’s always best to take the advice of your local child and family health nurse, an early parenting organisation like Tresillian or your GP.

Breastfeeding FAQ's

  • I have to return to work but I am breastfeeding. I don't want to wean. What can I do?

    It’s a shame to have to interrupt such an enjoyable routine, yet it’s quite possible for Some mothers are able to continue to fully or partially breastfeed their baby for many months after returning to work. It does take some pre-planning, but it’s worth the effort. Don’t be put off easily. Discussing your desire to breastfeed with your employer may help to gain some support. Start by expressing extra breastmilk and freezing it. If you haven’t been expressing, it might take a little while to build up your milk supply to be able to express more than a few milli-litres of milk each time you express. Hiring an electric breast pump may make the process easier. You may need to express at work to keep your breasts comfortable. Keep the milk refrigerated and bring it home in an insulated cool bag. Some mothers find regular expressing difficult to maintain. However, your baby can be offered an infant formula when you are at work, and still be breastfed at home. Many mothers and babies are able to continue to partially breastfeed for many months with this more flexible arrangement.

  • Our 2 year old has started to become very demanding and has regular tantrums. His naughty behaviour usually occurs when I am trying to feed my baby?

    Going from being the centre of attention to having to share attention with another can be very difficult when you are 2 ½ years old (see Introduction). Organise a snack for your 2½ year old child to have while your baby is feeding. Make the snack fun by putting the food into a lunch box and adding interesting healthy foods. Place a rug on the floor so he can have a picnic. Having a special DVD or television show to put on while you feed can help keep your toddler occupied and happy. Have a special book to read or toy to play with during feeding time. This can act as a distraction and make feeding a special time. Tell your son that you will spend some time playing with him when you have put the baby down to sleep. Make sure you carry through with any promises you make to spend time with your son. Providing some structured attention with mummy or daddy can really make a difference as does encouraging extended family and friends to share some of their attention with both your son and baby.

  • I am going to be in the hospital for a couple of days, but I'm still breastfeeding my newborn. How do I manage?

    As you have a couple of weeks until you are admitted to hospital, building up a supply of breast milk in your freezer will provide milk for your baby when you are unable to feed. In hospital, arrange ahead for your baby to room in with you (as per hospital policies to promote, protect and support breastfeeding), with the support of your partner or alternately to be brought into you at regular intervals to breastfeed. When you are being admitted talk to the nurses about your needs as a breastfeeding mother. You may need to ask for assistance to sit up to breastfeed or to express when you have returned from the operation. At home, your baby may be a little fussy or even refuse the breast when they are reintroduced to the breast. This may be a reaction to the emotional and physical separation of mother and baby and if the baby needed to be temporarily offered milk feeds from a bottle. Gently persist in offering the breast, as it may take a little while before baby settles back into a good feeding pattern.

  • Does Tresillian support breastfeeding?

    Our nurses and paediatricians are committed to supporting breastfeeding if this is the mother’s chosen method of feeding her baby. Breastfeeding encouragement, education and support is provided to mothers striving to overcome difficulties breastfeeding. However, if a mother makes the decision to wean this will be respected and supported. If a mother chooses to give her baby an infant formula or has to wean for whatever reason, the nurses will support and help the mother to ensure that infant feeding is an important and pleasurable experience for both her and the baby.

  • Is it safe to have a COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding?

    Please refer to detailed information here from Commonwealth Department of Health. Copy and paste this link into your browser. https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/06/covid-19-vaccination-shared-decision-making-guide-for-women-who-are-pregnant-breastfeeding-or-planning-pregnancy-covid-19-vaccination-shared-decision-making-guide-for-women-who-are-pregnant-breastfeeding-or-planning-pregna_0.pdf

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