We came up with this guide because we wanted to help you by letting other mums and experts contribute, and by giving you a few tips so you can fully enjoy this experience.
Everything you ever wanted to know about breastfeeding!
We also wanted to show the realities of breastfeeding, in a practical and realistic light, which is still more ‘glamorous’ than is sometimes made out. Breastfeeding doesn’t have to mean giving up your freedom, it’s like a dance where the partners need to get in step with each other. It’s constantly evolving, it’s full of doubts and questions, but it’s a fabulous adventure, a unique ever-present relationship with our child.
Of course many doctors and specialists will say that breastfeeding is beneficial for the baby, but also for the mum. That’s certainly true, but it is still a personal choice, one that each mum makes for herself and her baby. But whatever our choices and our experience, we are always stronger if we have a good support network. So we have collected here everything we would have wanted to know when it was our first time (and which we are still experiencing, since each child and each breastfeeding experience is different).
This “breastfeeding guide” isn’t the ‘be all and end all’, and we would encourage you to contact other mums, before and after pregnancy, or even sympathetic experts.
To take care of yourself.
To ask questions.
To never be afraid of asking for help.
And above all, to not forget to be kind to yourself.
Enjoy motherhood, enjoy breastfeeding if that is your choice.
You are jolly
We now know that mother’s milk is good for the baby. But did you know that on top of the short term benefits, breastfeeding can positively affect the child’s longer term health? And protect the mum too? Brilliant, right?
But how long should breastfeeding last? The WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months, then breast milk in a standard diet up to the child’s 2nd birthday, but the answer to the question can only be a personal one: you and your baby decide! And whatever the duration, there’s no such thing as ‘too short’.
How to get started? And first of all, how does the milk ‘come through’ after the birth? Is it always painful? Not necessarily, thank goodness. But if it is, there are ways to get relief.
If you have decided not to breastfeed, and you don’t know how you’re going to deal with the milk coming through, we can help you get through this tricky time as well as possible, because you can’t ‘just cancel the milk’ as it were.
We can never say this enough: a good start is important to longer term success.
What’s the best position for feeding? What’s the right way to nurse? … these are vital questions if you want to get off to a good start. Good posture, good contact with the breast, a good sucking action by the baby, these are important to get right so as to avoid pain, too.
Oh the joys of breastfeeding! Cracking, pain… but it doesn’t have to be like that! Cracking isn’t some kind of rite of passage in the first days after the birth!
You’re going back to work soon, and you’re wondering how to reconcile your working life and breastfeeding? We’ll let you in on a secret… it can be done, and what’s more, it’s not necessarily exhausting, on the contrary. We’ll give you some advice for getting through the transition period of returning to work. And if you decide you’d rather wean your baby off breast milk, advice on how to do it gradually, at your own pace.
What about expressing milk then? How does that work? What pump should I choose? It’s part of a daily routine for many mums who have chosen to continue nursing, but again, no pressure! You can introduce mixed feeds and only breastfeed your child when you’re with them. If your child has trouble getting used to the bottle, don’t worry, it’s usually just a temporary hiccup.
On a more practical note, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about storing and freezing milk, and how to warm it up.
They say you’re eating for two when you’re pregnant, but that’s also true of breastfeeding. . So you still need to take care of yourself and your diet. Did you know that your nutritional needs are greater when breastfeeding? Need to know what food supplements you can say without endangering your baby’s health?
Worried you won’t have enough milk? How can you boost your milk supply? What are the signs that show that your child is getting enough, and what do you need to look out for if not?
As well as simple advice on good breastfeeding posture, certain foodstuffs can promote milk production, such as nursing teas. We will help you discover various lactogenic ingredients so you can produce more milk, naturally, and on the other hand, the ones to avoid when you’re breastfeeding. We’ll also talk about brewer’s yeast, which has been widely considered to be a lactogenic for generations, and which is full of lovely vitamins, making it every healthy mum’s post-delivery friend!
And last of all we have asked specialists to help us answer questions that many of you have:
Can I drink alcohol while I’m breastfeeding? Are smoking and breastfeeding incompatible? I’m a coffee ‘addict’, do I have to give it up if I breastfeed? I’m ill, can I continue to breastfeed if I have a temperature?
Please feel free to write and tell us what would be useful to you, and to share your own experience!
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