I always did plan to breastfeed just because I’ve been educated so much on the benefits of it.
There’s just so many benefits! It’s free – once you get the hang of it – it’s easy and it helps with the bonding with baby but for the first 6 weeks, it was really difficult and if it wasn’t for the support I had, I definitely wouldn’t be breastfeeding!
My top tip if you want to breastfeed… is as soon as you’ve given birth, get the right support.
Once I’d left the hospital, I had the number for a maternity support worker who I phoned and she came the same day and helped me with the breastfeeding, she got the latch, she was literally sat there massaging my boobs when the milk comes in because that’s when that can be really painful.
I wasn’t told a lot about what to expect from breastfeeding.
I know you expect it to be the most natural thing on earth, you expect it to be so easy, the baby just has no problem with it but again, they’ve just been born, they don’t know what to do, so they’ve got to learn, you’ve got to learn.
And there’s lots of different stages with breastfeeding that I wasn’t aware of so, the colostrum first of all, it’s called ‘liquid gold’ which is in the first few days before your proper milk comes in.
That’s got all rich antibodies and things, that’s really important and if you’re struggling to breastfeed, in those first few days, often it can help if you self-express, if you just use your fingers and get the colostrum on a teaspoon and feed it to the baby, because that way they are still getting it.
Also my next option would be to get a breast pump. I know you can get them free. If you ask your maternity support worker or health visitor or even midwife they can help you with getting one or renting one because that was a life saver when all my milk come in when it was really painful. Also for the night feeds, if you don’t want to constantly breastfeed, it can be helpful for you to just pump a bit of milk and either you or your partner or your parents can step in and help feed the baby so it will give you just a bit of a break but I did persevere with it, I’m so glad I did.
Now I do a combination of breastfeeding, formula just because it works for me but it definitely helps and it’s so easy in the middle of the night rather than having to wake up and make a bottle, you can just plonk them on the boob but the first few weeks definitely ask for help because if I hadn’t have asked for the help then there’s no way I’d be doing it today.
You can read more about breastfeeding here: