We asked a group of parents what they wish they had been told about breastfeeding.
The voices repeatedly said the same thing: "I wish I had known I was normal."
Babies and mothers experience breastfeeding in a multitude of ways and it's almost always exactly what should be happening. For the times when it isn't, it's important to know where to go to get the right information and support.
Sometimes, success comes from having faith in your body and your ability and your baby.
PLEASE NOTE: This page is for guidance only and does not replace medical advice in case of difficulties. If you are feeling unwell and need immediate help, please contact your local healthcare professionals.
“Seek help. Keep seeking help, as often as you need to, even if it's at every feed in the beginning. Get as much information as you can about breastfeeding and go to your local breastfeeding support group before baby arrives.'”
“Skin to skin is awesome, do it as much as you can.”
“If your baby wants to feed let him feed.”
“Keep lots of drinks to hand! For when you're feeding and little one drops off to sleep for an hour (or more - yeh!) and you daren't move for fear of waking them.”
“Watch your baby, not the clock.”
Amino acids are the individual building blocks for proteins. Proteins make up approximately 20% of the human body. Breast milk contains the 9 essential amino acids, which the body cannot produce itself other than in breast milk, as well as others, which are critical for development in all areas.
“Those first few weeks can feel like they will never end and you can't get anything done, but relax and enjoy it. You won't get that time back. They grow so quickly.”
“Invest in a good 'breastfeeding box set.' Mine was Greys Anatomy and Frasier! It helped me stay awake through the night feeds. Also LOTS of snacks and keep a bottle of water to hand. But most importantly, it gets easier. Surround yourself with other breastfeeding mothers, their experience and encouragement is priceless. Booby babies want to feed all the time (or mine did anyway!!) - this is not a sign of low milk.” Chantal
“Talk to other breastfeeding mothers.”
“Listen to information not advice.”
“Look up cluster feeding. I remember in the early weeks I was at my mom's and he wanted feeding all day and my mom was concerned that he was feeding too much/not getting enough but through reassurance from bf groups on fb I was confident that it was right for us and he thrived.”
“Every suck is improving your baby's muscle tone, which will help them with feeding and, in time, eating and their speech. For help with positioning, ‘tummy to mummy, nose to nipple!’”
Stem Cells are cells that divide and self-renew to create and repair different organs and systems. These cells are absorbed by the baby, but their function remains unknown. Stem cells are being widely used in research for a variety of diseases including Alzheimers and diabetes.
“Both you and the baby have to learn how to breastfeed.”
“Don't worry about hosting visitors, they can make their own tea (and should bring biscuits or cake with them)! And if friends or family offer to help say YES! and ask them to help with the housework!”