From preparing to breastfeed to exploring what to do if you can’t, this is where you’ll find everything you’ll need to know about nursing your baby.
As soon as you fall pregnant, it’s fair to say that your body is no longer your own. The hormones released right from the very beginning cause many changes, and for some women (including the author), the feelings and appearance of your breasts can be the first sign of pregnancy.
Everybody knows that breastfeeding is the ideal choice for you and your baby. It’s natural and gives your little one the best possible nutritional start in life, not to mention saving money, time and effort spent on formula, bottles, sterilising machines and bottle warmers.
Pregnancy can feel a bit like having a starring role in Invasion Of The Body Snatchers – your body simply isn’t your own anymore. You feel swollen, sore, achy and, on top of all that, you’re getting kicked repeatedly in the crotch.
Not only is human breast milk free of charge and available on tap, but it’s also amazing because it contains exactly what your baby needs nutritionally, and adapts to his exact stage of development.
For many years now, the debate has raged about whether or not breastfeeding in public is acceptable. No one can disagree with a woman’s right to feed her child, but the exposure of breasts to the world at large is a fine line to draw, especially when the mother in question does not cover herself while nursing.
Breastfeeding is a very personal experience for you and your little one, so it’s important that both of you are comfortable before you begin. Feeding a newborn can take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour or so, so prepare to be sitting there for quite a while!
When a mother gives birth prematurely or experiences complications during labour, it may be some time before her hormones catch up and she starts to produce breast milk naturally.
Breastfeeding undoubtedly provides the healthiest start to your baby’s life. It’s also considerably cheaper than formula, doesn’t require copious amounts of time spent sterilizing equipment in the middle of the night, and helps form an incredibly strong maternal bond right from the outset.
Whether it strikes you as the most natural thing your boobs could do or whether you’re suddenly feeling decidedly squeamish, breastfeeding is something that takes a lot of getting used to it.
Before you give birth, it’s a great idea to read up on breastfeeding to familiarise yourself with the various techniques and what to expect.
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