One thing I learnt the hard way is that breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally to every mother and every baby. But there are things you can do to help foster a successful breastfeeding relationship.
With my first son it was rough. An emergency c-section and being a naive 16 year old who believed it really was natural it just didn’t work out.
With my second son it was a battle but we persevered and now we are still going strong at 23 months.
So here’s my top tips!
Don’t assume your going to put that baby to the breast and its all going to work out fine, you need to be aware of positioning, nose to nipple, comfortable latch. If your going to NCT classes ask about their support for breastfeeding mums. Check if your hospital has a breastfeeding course (like the one I did), read and talk to other mums. Use knowledge as power. When I had number 2 I knew about good latches, how to position him, what signs to look for to show he was feeding well. I didn’t know any of that with my first son. And this time around it meant when we were struggling I knew where to look for help such as the NHS breastfeeding clinc and the local baby cafe.
Know your rights:
Breastfeeding in public for many is a terrifying prospect. I won’t deny I wasn’t totally carefree about it. But knowing that I was legally allowed to do it and having that knowledge meant I felt empowered that I could feed and challenge any snooty cafe manager or moody customer who dared to challenge it. I’ve never had the dreaded experience of someone asking you to feed elsewhere or move to the toilets but I know many have!
Have faith in your body:
All to often you hear of women saying ‘I don’t have enough milk’. I was that woman too.
The only thing that gave me the confidence to carry on and trust my body was the mums on twitter who explained to me that eventually you no longer have the rock solid boobs and you do go to having softer boobs.
They told me expressing wasn’t a measure of how much milk you had because you’ll always get more by hand.
They explained about how my diet and hydration could impact my milk supply and I really did see the difference on days I ate less and days I ate more.
Don’t get me wrong I know some people really do struggle with supply issues but many like me simply have the panic of ‘im not producing enough for my baby’ when actually a few lifestyle changes or a bit of belief in your body is all that is needed.
Breastfeeding really isn’t a walk in the park for most people. It takes time and effort. But if you want to do it you can! Ask for support if you need it. Read up on websites like kellymom and use the various breastfeeding helplines!
Now don’t forget as part of the breastfeeding scavenger hunt you can enter on my blog (see below) and also visit other participating blogs such as:
Diary of a first child
A Baby On Board
Hinckley Yummy Mummy