The lovely Geraldine Miskin, who is passionate about empowering mums to create unique breastfeeding experiences that work for them and their families and overcome problems quickly and effectively, writes today’s blog:
Breastfeeding is very easy and straight forward for many mums and will hopefully be for you to. If you are approaching your due date and have spare time on your hands, it may be helpful to consider the following points before your baby arrives. That way you can find the information you need to feel prepared and informed.
Why is breastfeeding important to you?
The health benefits of breast milk are well documented and published everywhere but mums have different reasons for wanting to breastfeed. Some mums want to breastfeed as they know it is best for both themselves and their baby, other mums feel that it is an important part of being a woman and mother, some mums feel that it is expected or that it will help them to feel like a good mum. There are many reasons other than health benefits that draw women to breastfeeding. What are your reasons for wanting to breastfeed?
Do you have breastfeeding goals and the tools to help you achieve them?
Birth plans are a great way to help you create a road map of how you would like your baby’s birth to unfold. Being informed helps you to make decisions that you are comfortable with, even when things don’t go entirely or exactly the way you had hoped they would. You are still in the driving seat and this is how it should be. It is after all your experience so it is right that you own it and enjoy it.
Being able to do this for your breastfeeding experience is equally important, as you will be prepared to address any changes that come your way. Knowing that breastfeeding doesn’t come easily to all mums, what challenges sometimes occur and how to resolve them or where to find help should you need it, will empower you to bring your breastfeeding back on track if you find that it goes a little wobbly. It is a new skill for both you and your baby, so if feeding is tricky to start with, you will feel reassured in the knowledge that you have the tools to hand to move breastfeeding forward in a positive way. Discussing your breastfeeding goals with a friend or informed health professional will also help you to explore the practical elements of reaching your goal.
What type of breastfeeding experience will suit you and your family?
The WHO states that babies should be exclusively breastfed for 6 months and then partially breastfed until the age of 2yrs old. Whilst this is optimal and ideal, is it what you want and will it fit in with your family or lifestyle. Whilst breastfeeding is the optimal way to feed babies, many mums consider combining breastfeeding with expressing and bottle-feeding, some prefer to express and bottle feed exclusively. Every drop of breast milk your baby receives is packed with goodness whether it is directly from the breast, via a nipple shield or even a bottle. There is no right or wrong way, just a way that works for you and your family.
Standard breastfeeding information doesn’t work as all mums and babies are different.