Breastfeeding Tips for Beginners

8 Breastfeeding Tips Every Beginner Should Know

According to a lactation consultant extraordinaire.

While breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally, especially in the early days, most mothers assume they’re supposed to know exactly what to do from the get-go – and inevitably feel like a failure when things go wrong. But nursing a baby is no easy feat, especially if you’re new to it, and that’s where lactation consultants come in. 

Specialising in the clinical management of breastfeeding, these health professionals are on hand to help with everything from sore nipples and diminishing milk supply to finding an optimal breastfeeding position for you. We tapped one such professional whose experience and expertise awaits at King’s College Hospital in Dubai: Dr Sabeen Adil. Certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, she has been working in the field of lactation for the last 12 years and is deeply passionate about supporting families – not just new mothers – through the breastfeeding journey. Here, she shares eight things about breastfeeding that every beginner should know.

1. The onus is not just on the mother.

“Mothers should know that breastfeeding is not just their job. It will work only if everyone around her – her family, her doctors, her support system – comes together and supports breastfeeding. Only then it can work. Many times, the mother has not made any mistakes, but she did not get the support she needed from her paediatrician or her place of work, and that is why breastfeeding did not work out for her.”

Breastfeeding Tips Every Beginner Should Know

2. A little preparation is in order.

“It’s common for new mothers to think that they don’t have to do anything to prepare themselves for breastfeeding. In fact, I often encounter mothers who admit that they didn’t think it would be hard. I recommend that pregnant women seek help, seek information before the baby is born because you will need to know how to breastfeed soon enough. Take some time to get yourself properly educated because, many times, it’s actually breastfeeding that becomes the most difficult part of the whole process. Luckily, there’s so much more information online compared to a few years ago. And of course, a lactation consultant would be happy to give you antenatal breastfeeding classes.”

3. Milk supply and a mother’s diet aren’t correlated.

“Breastfeeding is a natural continuation of pregnancy; that’s the normal physiology. Pregnancy ends and breastfeeding begins, so take care of yourself – hydrating adequately and getting the right nutrition – just as you did while you were pregnant. This will ensure that your own well-being is in order. Breastfeeding problems happen when there’s an impediment in the transfer of milk from the mother’s body to the baby’s body. And while there’s no specific diet that a mother needs to follow, a reduction in milk production indicates that a problem has already arisen.”

4. Breastfeeding products aren’t necessary but can help.

“You don’t actually need anything to breastfeed, but there are things like nursing pillows and nursing bras that can help – this can change from situation to situation. Breast pumps do have some utility in different scenarios, especially for working mothers and mothers who want to gain some of their independence back. It is a great tool because not only can it help in situations where milk supply is low or there’s a problem with milk transfer, but you can also use it to bottle-feed your baby after a certain period. There are more specialised devices out there, but I would only recommend using them under the care of a lactation consultant.”

breastfeeding tips bottle

5. Persistent soreness is a sign that something is off.

“I usually recommend that a mother apply her own milk to the areas that are sore because it really helps – but we don’t want to assume that soreness is a normal thing that will always occur. Yes, you might feel sore in the first week or so of your breastfeeding journey, but if the soreness and pain persists beyond that, you need to see a lactation consultant and get it sorted. Something’s wrong if breastfeeding is hurting.”

6. Stress will negatively impact the lactation process.

“One very important aspect within the environment is the mother’s stress levels. Oxytocin, the hormone that causes milk ejection, will be released if she is relaxed. And it will not be released if her stress hormones are high. This is the physiology of breastfeeding, so it’s really important that she is comfortable, not in pain, not in a hurry, and not worried about anything. If we want breastfeeding to work well, we really need to support the mother – ensure that her pain is being managed, that she’s eating enough. I always recommend you put on music or watch the next episode of your Netflix show while you’re breastfeeding so that you are relaxed and comfortable.”

7. A foolproof breastfeeding position doesn’t exist.

“There’s no one perfect position – I like saying that there are 360 ways a baby can latch on! As for my favourite position to teach? Breastfeeding while lying down. A mother can simply lie down and have the baby next to her. It’s a very comfortable position. Many, many women don’t know how to nurse in that position, and they’re surprised when I guide them on how to – it’s my favourite thing to teach new mothers.”

Breastfeeding Tips Every Beginner Should Know

8. Understanding newborn behaviour can help new parents.

“It’s normal for a baby to ask for milk again and again. It’s normal for a baby to not sleep long hours – no baby sleeps like a baby. That’s such an incorrect concept. Every baby’s breastfeeding pattern is different, and it’s not something you can clock or time. Another thing I remind new parents is that a newborn has only two things to do in life: sleeping or eating. This means when he or she is done sleeping, it’s most probably time to eat, so don’t wait for your baby to cry out of hunger – crying is actually a very late sign of hunger. A good time to initiate a breastfeeding session is the moment a baby is waking up and getting alert about their surroundings. A crying baby is agitated and really hungry, so getting into an organised state becomes very difficult. As adults, we lose our patience when we are hungry – it’s no different for babies.”

Contact the Dubai Hills or Dubai Marina branch of King’s College Hospital for a private consultation with Dr Sabeen Adil or follow her on @cuddlesdrsabeen for more information.


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Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Busy Women

Feel better, today.

Whether you are a career woman or a hands-on homemaker, as a woman you will always have a lot on your plate. You keep overworking yourself to achieve ‘out of this world’ goals without even realising that you need a break once in a while. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget about taking care of yourself. We all know how challenging it can be to juggle work, family, and personal responsibilities. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget about taking care of ourselves. Self-care ends up coming last on your priorities when it really needs to be your top priority. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

If you’re one of those busy women who keep working round the clock be it at work or at home (or both), pause and ask yourself this, “When was the last time I took a break? When was the last time I felt like myself?”. Be honest with yourself and know that it’s okay if your answer ends up being, “Never.” Well, it’s not really okay for your long-term physical health, emotional well-being, and overall productivity, but it’s okay for you to be honest with yourself at this moment so you can become aware and start to do something about it. Remember, it’s never too late to make a change. And, today is as good as any day to make that change!

Making time for self-care doesn’t have to be a complex or expensive affair. It can be as simple as a ritual of deep and mindful breathwork or indulging in a long soak in the bath. We’ve curated a list of our favourite self-care activities and the things we love to indulge with and hope they inspire you too to do the same.

So, let’s dive into ten self-care tips every woman should follow to prioritise their well-being.

Get Enough Sleep

According to a UAE sleep survey, nearly 50% of respondents complained of not sleeping enough and waking in the middle of the night. Sleep is crucial for your mental and physical health and getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night is recommended to feel rested and refreshed the next day. Lack of sleep contributes to chronic stress which in turn can lead to a whole host of ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, and depression.

Sleep Essentials


Sleep Essential Oil Mist

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Cosy Dreams Spelt Husk Pillow

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Sleepover Eye Mask

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Wear Healing Crystals

Healing Crystals are natural semi-precious gems formed deep in the heart of the earth and have unique energy frequencies based on their molecular structure. Their energies can help unblock and recharge our energy centres for us to be and work at an optimal level and bring positive changes to our lives. It’s a form of wearable self-care. For instance, Rose Quartz and Amethyst crystal bracelets can help promote self-love, tranquillity, and spiritual growth.

Crystal Essentials


Rose Quartz Bracelet

AED 45.00


Amethyst Bracelet

AED 46.00

Purify Your Skin

Self-care also includes taking care of your skin. Did you know that Himalayan Salt is packed with over 84 trace minerals that are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory? It’s also an amazing purifier for your bedroom or office. Many skin conditions like acne are actually caused by bacteria that live on our skin and contribute to the infection of pimples.

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Amber Salt Lamp

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White Salt Lamp

AED 140.00

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful way to reduce stress and anxiety, increase happiness, and improve overall well-being. You can start with a simple practice of deep breathing or guided meditation, but if you’re looking for a more comprehensive tool, try The Keys To The Universe Cards. They offer guidance and action to accelerate your journey to awareness and enlightenment.

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The Keys to The Universe Cards by Diana Cooper

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Relaxation Meditation Kit

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Move Your Body

A lot of the time, when we think of self-care, we visualise things like sleeping in, taking a hot bath, finding “me” time in the day – basically, relaxing activities. Engaging in physical activity may not always be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of self-care but it is an excellent way to release endorphins and boost your mood. And, therefore working out or being active should definitely be on your self-care To-Do list. Movement is just another way to take care of your body and mind.

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Ecosoft Bra

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Upgrade Your Nutrition

Eating a balanced and nutrient-rich diet is crucial to your overall health and well-being. Prioritise eating foods that fuel your body with vitamins, minerals, and energy. Add superfoods like leafy green vegetables, nuts, and berries to your meals. Also, adequate water and other fluids keep you hydrated and ensure your body has the hydration levels to run your body optimally.

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The Energy Cookie

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Aventurine Crystal Water Bottle

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Good Morning Energizing Loose Tea

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Connect with Nature

Spending time in nature can be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. A meta-analysis of over 140 studies published in Environmental Research, for instance, found that green space exposure was associated with lowered cortisol levels, heart rate, and blood pressure—all signifying stress reduction—as well as reduced incidence of chronic health conditions like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. So, take that walk in the park without thinking twice, go for a hike, or simply sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine!

Practise Gratitude

Practising gratitude can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and increase feelings of joy and contentment. Gratitude is not just something that you feel, it is something that can be expressed through actions, behaviours, and gestures. Your brain responds to this by releasing dopamine and serotonin, which can have a positive impact on your mood. Try writing down three things you’re grateful for each day or saying them out loud before bed.

Ask for Help

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or professionals for support when you need it. There are various support groups available in Dubai that focus on self-care and well-being. Here are some resources that can help you find a self-care support group that works for you:

Dubai Foundation for Women and Children: This organization provides support and resources for women and children who have experienced domestic violence or abuse. They offer counselling services, support groups, and workshops focused on self-care and empowerment.

The Light House Arabia: This mental health and wellness centre in Dubai offers various support groups and workshops focused on self-care, stress management, and mental health. They offer both in-person and online services.

Mind House: This online mental wellness platform offers various programs and support groups focused on self-care and mindfulness. They offer both group and individual sessions with trained professionals.

Meetup.com: This is a website that connects people with similar interests and hobbies, including self-care and wellness. You can search for local groups that focus on self-care, meditation, or other wellness practices.

When looking for a self-care support group, it’s important to consider what type of support you’re looking for, your schedule, and your preferences for in-person or online support. Don’t be afraid to try different groups until you find one that feels like the right fit for you.

So, there you have ten self-care tips every woman should follow to prioritise their well-being. Incorporating these can make a significant difference in your self-care routine. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary!

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.


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