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Breastfeeding is wonderful.
Or at least it can be wonderful!
I breastfeed for 15 months and value that time so much. At its best it was the most beautiful time to be with my daughter.
But first off I didn’t find it easy.
I knew all about how good breastfeeding would be for my baby from my ante-natal classes. And I knew the “best” position to hold baby in to get a “perfect” latch.
And to be honest, the first 2 months were dreadful … truly miserable … and I came very very close to giving up.
I spent hours reading books from different “experts”, googling obsessively and skulking in forums trying to cobble together advice relevant to me.
And when anyone asks, I would say my best tips are …
My Best Breastfeeding Tips
- Rest, rest, rest and rest some more
- Get loads and loads and loads of skin to skin contact in the early days
- Eat well … a big bowl of porridge with flax seed for breakfast is great
- Drink loads of water
- Expect babies to be sleepy after a c-section, induction or long labour
- Get pumping if baby is sleepy and not waking to feed initially
BUT, BUT, BUT and yep it is a big but, these were the best breastfeeding tips for me and my baby.
The biggest thing I learnt was babies are different and breastfeeding is different for different mums!
There really isn’t a one size fits us all solution and I would be very wary of any “expert” who says there is.
There are sleepy babies like mine who barely feed at all. And there are big babies who just can’t get enough and barely sleep at all.
There are babies with allergies. And very windy babies. And babies with sensitive little tummies who bring everything back up in reflux.
There are babies who struggle to latch at all because of tongue tie. And there are babies who “gnaw” on mummy’s boobs so hard they get infected with mastitis.
So really the best advice I can give is reach out and find other mums who have been through it.
Contact your ante-natal group about problems you’re having and ask them to get you in touch with mums who can help. Or check out local groups from organizations like Kelly Mom or La Leche League or in the UK from NCT.
And have a look at the breastfeeding forums on sites like Mumsnet … if you give us much detail as you can about what you are going through, you will almost always find generous help from other mums.