Breast­feed­ing body bat­tle

TV per­son­al­ity Josie Gib­son gives us a can­did be­hind-the-scenes look

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In a re­cent In­sta­gram pic with her baby son Reg­gie-james, Josie, 33, showed just how breast­feed­ing can be tough on mums.

‘Nip­ple pain is of­ten trig­gered by the baby not latch­ing on cor­rectly,’ says phar­ma­cist Daniel Brash*. ‘Try dif­fer­ent feed­ing po­si­tions and avoid us­ing nip­ple shields – they can re­strict the flow of milk to the baby, which can make the breasts en­gorged. For nip­ple cracks, use a lano­lin oint­ment or a Rite Aid Hy­dro­gel Breast Disc (health­care4all.co.uk), which al­lows rapid heal­ing to take place un­der­neath it.’

If you are suf­fer­ing with mas­ti­tis – an in­flam­ma­tion of the breast tis­sue – Daniel warns there can be in­fec­tion due to a block­age of milk flow. ‘It’s es­sen­tial to keep breast­feed­ing through­out and seek ad­vice from your health pro­fes­sional,’ he ad­vises.

But although some moth­ers en­counter prob­lems, there are ben­e­fits, too. ‘There is a def­i­nite re­duced risk of can­cers, es­pe­cially breast and ovar­ian,’ says Daniel. Ac­cord­ing to CRUK, the longer you breast­feed, the lower the risk – pos­si­bly be­cause ovaries don’t pro­duce eggs as of­ten dur­ing breast­feed­ing, and breast­feed­ing al­ters cells in the breast so they may be more re­sis­tant to changes that lead to can­cer. ‘Breast­feed­ing also re­duces your risk of obe­sity,’ adds Daniel. Plus, ac­cord­ing to La Leche League GB, it burns 800 cals a day. So if you can, breast is best!

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