National Breastfeeding Week is a great time to talk about the benefits of breastfeeding your baby. It’s the most natural way to feed your child and helps to cement that bond between mother and baby. Being prepared is the best way to ensure that you and your little one can make breastfeeding a successful and positive experience. Here are a few ways to prepare in advance.
Take a breastfeeding class
When you start a new job, it’s safe you say that you will be doing some training and studying up beforehand, right? With motherhood being such a vital role, it makes sense to do the same for breastfeeding so do consider taking a class. There are lots available around the country. Here are just a few sources:
- The Baby Academy – www.babyacademy.ie
- Breastfeeding Support – www.breastfeedingsupport.ie
- Clare Boyle – www.breastfeedingconsultant.ie
- Nursing Mama – www.nursingmama.ie
Your maternity hospital may also have a breastfeeding consultant who offers classes.
Read up on breastfeeding
If classes aren’t feasible, a good book on the subject can be enormously helpful. While we have Google at our fingertips 24/7, there is a lot of conflicting information online. A book by an established expert is often a more trustworthy source. Try these:
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League
- The Positive Breastfeeding Book by Amy Brown
- Breastfeeding Made Simple by Nancy Morbacher
Join A Support Group
“It takes a village to raise a child” is the old saying and it still remains true to this day. Having a support group to turn to if you’re having breastfeeding issues or just to ask advice and share experiences is invaluable. It’s worth it just to hear “Yes, this is perfectly normal.”, especially if you’re a new Mum. Here are some of the most popular groups. You may also find smaller, localized ones in your area by searching online:
- Cuidiu – www.cuidiu.ie
- La Leche League of Ireland – www.lalecheleagueireland.com
- Friends of Breastfeeding – www.breastfeeding.ie
Talk to other Mums
Hearing from other breastfeeding Mums can be so helpful, especially in the first weeks. They will be able to tell you what worked for them, and how they overcame any teething problems you may encounter. Having a family member or friend who has breastfed that you can reach out to can be a real game-changer. They can offer advice on latching issues, cluster feeding, winding, feeding holds and more.
We know that while breastfeeding is natural and recommended, it’s not always feasible for everyone. There are many reasons why some Mums may not be able to breastfeed and that’s absolutely fine. Remember that ‘fed is best’ and as long as your little one is happy and thriving, that’s what counts.
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