Wednesday 29 November 2017

6 Tips to Help You Breastfeed With Confidence

I am currently breastfeeding my fourth baby who is now 8 weeks old. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed my babies. My mum breastfed my siblings and I so it just seemed like the natural thing to do. I never questioned my ability to breastfeed. I was never one of those mums who thought I would buy some formula "just in case" I found breastfeeding difficult. I was confident in my ability to breastfeed my babies even before I had attempted it. To be honest, I think that may have made all the difference.

Although I found it relatively easy to breastfeed my babies (some were easier than others) I do know that a lot of mothers find it difficult. There are many different reasons women can find breastfeeding difficult and I believe confidence plays a part in this. I am going to share with you my tips on how to breastfeed with confidence. I hope this practical guide will help you successfully breastfeed your baby.

Believe in yourself

Believing in yourself is extremely important. As I mentioned above, I never doubted my ability to breastfeed my babies and I do believe this has helped me enormously. Even when I was struggling to breastfeed my third child, I never thought about giving him a bottle of formula. It did not even cross my mind. I persevered, with support from my family and a breastfeeding counsellor at the local children's centre, until it became easier. I knew I could do it, so I did. 

Supportive husband

Research shows that the husband's attitude can directly affect the length of time a mother breastfeeds her baby. I do believe your partner's support is crucial for breastfeeding successfully. If they are supportive they will give you encouragement and make it easy for you to breastfeed. They will bring drinks and try and make sure you are comfortable. They will be understanding when you have not been able to iron their clothes or wash the dishes because you have been breastfeeding your baby most of the day! They will offer you words of encouragement and support you if you experience any negativity. Above all, they will recognise that breastfeeding is best for you and your baby and support you to do it for as long as you want.

Get comfortable

When you are breastfeeding your baby it is really important for you to feel comfortable. You can use a breastfeeding pillow to help support your baby and get your baby into the optimum position for breastfeeding. The position the baby is in makes a lot of difference to your ability to breastfeed. The NHS website has some useful information about positioning your baby for breastfeeding.

Suitable Clothing

Clothing can play a huge part in your confidence to breastfeed. If you are wearing something that makes you feel uncomfortable, it can impact your ability to breastfeed successfully. Personally, I find it more difficult to breastfeed if I am wearing clothing that is too tight or revealing. For me, it is all about practicality. I am more confident to breastfeed, particularly in public, if I am wearing something baggy which I can easily pull up and cover myself with. 

Try different clothing and see what works for you. There are many different types of breastfeeding clothing available these days. Personally, I do not like most tops and dresses made specifically for breastfeeding as I do not like the styles and they are very expensive! I find a vest with a baggy top on top works well for me. I use the one up one down method so I pull the vest top down and the baggy top up. This way I am able to keep everything covered and this helps me feel confident enough to breastfeed in public. Experiment and see what type of clothing makes breastfeeding easier for you.

Ask for help

If you are having trouble establishing breastfeeding, do not be afraid to ask for help. There are many organisations, such as La Leche League, that will be able to offer advice on how to breastfeed. You may wish to go and see a Breastfeeding Counsellor who has been trained to help women breastfeed. I saw a Breastfeeding Counsellor with my third child who I struggled to breastfeed due to a posterior tongue tie. The Counsellor will watch you breastfeeding your baby and give you advice on how to breastfeed successfully. You can usually find information for the Breastfeeding Counsellors in your area at your local children's centre.


Finally, remember to relax. If you are anxious or tense, breastfeeding may not come easily. Relax, get comfortable and get your baby into a good position. Be confident in your ability and remember you can do it!


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