Whether you have just had your baby or are preparing for the birth of your little one, thinking about how you are going to feed them is an important conversation. Many new mums battle with the decision about breastfeeding, often because the lack of support offered to them and the worry, they will not manage it. We would like to share some information and tips about breastfeeding to help any new mums with the decision. Having as much information as you can will help you feel more confident when it comes to the decision of how to feed your baby.
While pregnant you will visit your midwife often, these will be great times to start asking questions about breastfeeding, they may also suggest that you attend antenatal classes. In these classes you will be given a lot of information on the benefits of breastfeeding and tips on latch and positioning during feeding. You may also find second time parents that can offer advice and tried and tested tips on the feeding process. Let’s talk a little about the benefits of breastfeeding.
During breastfeeding your milk will adapt to suit the needs of your baby. In those first few days you will provide your baby with colostrum, a thick and yellow type milk which is packed with immune system boosters. As time goes on your supply adapts to meet the changing needs of your baby, for example if you become ill while breastfeeding your milk will produce antibodies that are passed on to your baby protecting them from infections and diseases.
Breastfeeding helps new mothers recover quicker after birth; the oxytocin produced during feeding helps to contract the uterus which helps reduce is back to its original size and reduce bleeding after birth.
The cost of having a child can be quite overwhelming at times so having a way of feeding your child for free is a big win. While being free it is also very convenient, being able to feed on demand without prior planning is beneficial to new mums when they are out and about.
Breastfeeding is known to strengthen the bond you have with your new baby, creating an important connection with them as soon as they are born. We talked about oxytocin being beneficial for recovering after birth, but it is also known as the love hormone, released when feeding and can aid in the connection of love and protection.
If you do decide to breastfeed there are some things, we think are beneficial to have that make the process a little easier.
We want to reassure you that however you choose to feed your baby is your choice and you should never feel guilty for the decision you make. Breastfeeding is not always an easy journey and can be much more difficult for some than others so make sure to make a choice that fits with you, your baby, and your family.
Thank you for taking the time to read and we hope the advice we have shared helps make your decision a little easier. Support networks come in all forms, websites like the breastfeeding network, national and local groups on Facebook as well as meetings in local areas so please do not ever feel alone.