Things I wish I'd known about breastfeeding

Real tips from real mums.

Yes breastfeeding is natural but that doesn’t mean it is always easy.

From feeling like a contortionist whilst trying to get the best position and not flash everyone in the restaurant, wondering how your baby can be hungry again already and coping with the frustration of a bad latch there can be many challenges on the breastfeeding journey. But you are both learning together and things will get easier. Here, breastfeeding mums a little further down the line share their best tips, thoughts and things they wish they had known.

“Who knew your bra size would keep on changing – the nursing bras I bought in pregnancy didn’t fit once my milk came in. Don’t buy too many at one time and think stretchy!”

“Some people like to sit down for a leisurely meal and others like to snack on the run. Same goes for babies feeding. Forget what the books and your well-meaning friend says and respect your baby’s uniqueness”

“Feeding on demand literally means that – nurse whenever your baby wants to and you’ll build your milk supply up. Bit of a shock that it could be up to 12 times in 24 hours though!”

“I wish I’d known you could get thrush on your nipples. It was so painful and apparently I was more prone as I’d had antibiotics during delivery”

“Breastfeeding pillows are amazing –stops backache and gets your baby to the right height for your breasts” 

“I could never remember which side I fed from last so I wore a hair elastic around the wrist of the one I had just fed on to remind my baby brain!”

“A wrap carrier was my savior! It helped me nurse more discreetly in public, comforted her and left my hands free to get on with things whilst still giving her skin-to-skin”

“It feels weird to begin with but sit down, rest and eat and drink well. It’s not indulgent, it’s what will help your milk supply and therefore your baby”

“I found expressing so helpful as my partner could do the 11pm feed so I could crawl into bed at 9pm and just get a bit of sleep. He loved it too”

“I’d find myself muttering ‘nose to nipple’ all the time, helped me get the right latch” 

“I wish I’d known it doesn’t come naturally to everyone at first”

“I didn’t realise how psychological expressing is – looking at pictures of my little one whilst I was at work really helped my let down”

 “Always have the TV remote, your phone, a snack and water within reach before you sit down”

“Don’t buy expensive nursing clothes. I lived in stretchy tank tops with another top over them. So easy. Slip the tank down and lift your top and you can discreetly feed without baring more than you want to!”

“The best thing for your baby is a happy mummy. If you’re not happy then do something about it – that is honestly better for your baby than any advice in any book”

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