The truth about breastfeeding is that it isn’t always easy, and mums need a lot of support during this time.
To help you out, the wonderful mums on Mumsnet have shared the best advice they received while breastfeeding.
Here’s what they said.
In those first few weeks, there’s a chance that your nipples will be in a world of pain. One mum said her friend told her that it gets better, and “it really did.”
Another wrote: “It does hurt but not for long. As midwives kept saying it shouldn’t hurt, but it was about a week & Lansinoh helped.”
While bleeding and cracked nipples can be normal while breastfeeding, it’s always a good idea to get them checked out by a healthcare professional.
If your baby’s latch doesn’t look like the image you see in Google, don’t assume that it’s wrong.
One mum said, “This [advice] helped me because my babies’ small mouths never covered my nipple area like the books said it should. Apparently, I should have been removing her and attaching again but never did. Still bf 18 months later.”
Ignore those passive-aggressive comments about your baby’s appetite and keep going (if you want to). “If they won’t stop feeding – and you can’t even imagine that they could still be hungry – keep feeding,” writes one mum.
Another said: “Look at it as your baby ‘putting in the order’ for the next few days to bump up your supply.”
Cluster feeding is when your baby wants lots of short feeds. This is very normal and can happen in the early days of breastfeeding.
One mum said the best advice she received was from a breastfeeding support worker. “My son was just starting cluster feeds, and even though I knew what they were, I didn’t realise how intense they could be. Not helped by the in-laws saying ‘oh feeding again, can’t be getting enough” etc. which was totally wrong.
“The support worker explained in more detail how the best thing I could do was get in a bath, get a comfy nighty and get comfy in bed with a jug of water a plate of sandwiches and Netflix etc. Once I understood it was normal and geared myself up for it and expected it, I actually enjoyed it! And the old ‘it gets better after 8 weeks’ – it really did for me.”
“Breastfeeding is fantastic for as long as it suits both mum and baby,” said one mum. “If you want to stop, that’s fine. If baby wants to wean, that’s fine too. Tell every well-meaning (read: interfering) f**ker to STFU.”
Staying hydrated is essential while breastfeeding.
“Drink a glass of water for every feed you do,” added another mum. “You’ll feel horribly dehydrated sometimes as it’s easy to forget how much liquid you’re losing. And it helps to keep up your supply.”
“Keep at it. It does get easier. It took nine weeks to get a decent latch with my little dude. Fed him expressed milk before then,” one mum wrote.
Another shared: “Just go with it, things will settle after 6 weeks. My first midwife said just consider this your job for the next 6 weeks and let other people do everything else.”
Importantly, one mum reiterated the point that there is support out there for breastfeeding mums which can be incredibly helpful.
“Get the advice of a breastfeeding trained midwife/counsellor/decent breastfeeding support group on Facebook,” she said.
“It will hurt at first. It will get better …”
Review baby products to earn rewards points, then swap those points for Amazon.co.uk Gift Cards. It's so easy!