It is easy to think about how to prepare for breastfeeding after you have had your first child. I was so naive at the start and never even thought about the problems I would encounter. I was more concerned about labour, as my low pain threshold means I cannot even get my ears pierced. I thought you just stick your baby on your boob and that’s it, the baby will take it from there. So I am sharing my tips on things I wished I had known before having my first baby;
- Get some breastfeeding books or do some research whilst you are still pregnant especially on issues you could encounter, like problems latching, mastitis, engorgement, suitable bra’s etc. There is a great book by Diane Wiessinger called “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding”. Professor Amy Brown also has a range of books on breastfeeding.
- Know all the support groups and websites you can use before the baby is born, some are available 24 hours and you may need to talk to someone at 3am.
- Make sure your partner or family member is there with you for the first few days, as if something is going wrong with feeding, you cannot think rationally with little or no sleep, so it can be difficult to assess what is going wrong.
- Surround yourself with other breastfeeding mums or those that will offer support, comfort and a good ear if you have concerns.
- Let your friends and family know you plan to breastfeed and the reasons why so they can support your decision.
- You will have your boobs out a lot, if this gives you anxiety think about investing in a good breastfeeding cover, or clothes that will suit your needs.
- Be realistic about how hard breastfeeding is, and don’t feel like a failure as a mother if it is not working out as you expected. Sometimes mums just cannot breastfeed, a fed baby is best.