In so many things in life, the support we get from family, friends and the wider community can make all the difference and breastfeeding is certainly one of these. The first few weeks can be very intense and a steep learning curve for new parents. Sometimes things are not easy for experienced parents either as every child develops in different ways. But the long term benefits of breastfeeding are well established so it is worth sticking with it.
It’s not uncommon for second-time-round mums (or even third-time round) to visit a breastfeeding clinic because they encounter different conditions with their new baby or they might not need any support at all if things go well because the baby learns to latch on correctly from the start.
Whatever your experience, there is no need to suffer in isolation or suppress your feelings if breastfeeding is not going well – support is at hand from healthcare professionals, breastfeeding organisations and lactation consultants. Do ask your public health nurse for a list of what is available in your area – you may end up with a new friend or two as well which can be an added bonus!
There are also lots of really excellent breastfeeding books available and, of course, on-line forums where you can chat to other mums who may be going through the same thing at the same time. Some of the following titles are handy to have on your bedside table even before baby is born to give you some insights and information before you start your breastfeeding journey:
NCT: Breastfeeding for Beginners by Jane Moody
The NCT is a charity with 50 years’ experience of helping new mothers breastfeed successfully. This practical and easy-to-use guide aims to make breastfeeding a rewarding and painless experience.
ABCs of Breastfeeding by Stacey Rubin
Neonatal nurse, lactation consultant and mother-of-two Stacey Rubin has helped many mothers and babies to overcome breastfeeding hurdles. From pregnancy to weaning, this practical guide will show you how to prepare for nursing, recognise the signs that baby wants to be fed and build a healthy milk supply.
What to expect the first year by Murkoff, Eisenberg & Hathaway
The latest edition of this parent’s bible includes the most up-to-date information and frequently asked questions in a reader friendly, accessible style. It also contains in-depth coverage of topics such as getting started, newborn health checks and breastfeeding.
Remember, whether you prefer books, online forums or just a cuppa and a chat with a breastfeeding friend, support and encouragement can be really useful tools to help you on your breastfeeding journey.