A friend of mine is due to have a baby on September 3. We’ve been messaging each other a lot in the last couple of days as she’s getting more excited and anxious in equal measure.
Today we were talking a lot about breastfeeding as she is really hoping to breastfeed her little boy when he arrives.
I’m not a qualified lactation consultant but six months into exclusively breastfeeding Poppy I thought there must be some words of wisdom I can offer for breastfeeding readers here.
So here are three things I’ve learnt about breastfeeding that I never knew before I had a baby:
1) Breastfeeding babies nurse constantly.
Well it seems that way for at least the first six weeks. I had never heard of anything like cluster feeding and I’m not sure from where but I had it in my head that babies eat every three hours and that’s pretty much it.
Not the case.
Of course all babies are different but once I learnt to trust that my baby knows what she needs, I didn’t mind feeding her every 90 minutes and pretty much non-stop between 4pm and 10pm.
2) Breastfeeding doesn’t necessarily come naturally.
In fact, I was pretty awkward at first, I wasn’t even sure how to hold Poppy so she could feed properly. She would happily nurse off one side but scream if I tried the other. Luckily I had a mum and mother-in-law who had both breastfed plus a really supportive midwife offering advice and encouraging me to persevere.
3) Breastfeeding has meant so much more than nourishment
Clearly breastfeeding’s primary requirement is to fill your baby but it has turned out to be a great deal more than that. Boobs have a remarkable ability to calm and soothe grisly babies...even if they’re not really hungry. The sucking action helps move trapped wind and actually producing a pain relieving effect, amazing right? Plus its the most amazing bonding experience, now that I feel completely confident and over the initial difficulties.
Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone and I know that unfortunately there are mums out there who would love to breastfeed but are unable for hundreds of reasons and those who’s breastfeeding relationships are cut short.
I’d really like to hear about your breastfeeding experiences, if you exclusively breastfeed, have successful breast and bottle fed, those amazing mummies who do extended breastfeeding. Tell me your stories!
Read Francesca’s previous blog - click the links below:
July 18: The day my life changed forever.
July 25: Its scary but awesome being a mum.
July 31: It’s not easy being a mum.
August 7: Life is on hold but that’s alright.
August 14: Guilty secret.
August 22: In two minds.
Contact me via my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or my Twitter account @CescaNaylor.