"One of my babies fed LOADS. The next one was super efficient, and went much longer between feeds. I wish I had know that they were both fine, and neither of them was "wrong". All babies are individuals."
Babies are all different, and so are we!
There isn’t one way to breastfeed and there isn’t one position you should use. There are some basic principles; a baby taking a mouthful of breast and not just the nipple, a baby’s chin and body in contact with mum. But that can happen in a many different ways.
We do know that babies often respond well when they feel anchored and secure, so positions where babies are well supported (such as a mum leaning back) may be more helpful than a baby dangling on an arm. Some mums prefer to hold their breast, some keep them in their natural shape. Some women have very long nipples and some short, or flat.
It’s true that some babies, and some mums, may struggle to make breastfeeding work. Exclusive pumping, using a tube feeding system at the breast to give supplemental milk, or using nipple shields may be part of your breastfeeding story.
If you are struggling, visit our 'Find Support' page and get in touch with the organisations and groups who will help you. You are not alone, the chances are you'll find many women going through something similar to you, and needing back-up is normal.
Our friend and Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife Kate manages to sneak her video whilst being held car hostage by a sleeping baby.
“I wish I’d known what a tool breastfeeding is. The fact that babies can feed for things other than hunger. They feed because they’re tired, because they’re hungry, because they’re over-stimulated, because they’re in pain… Realising that earlier on might have helped me to understand the process better and analyse it less. It’s easy to overthink things and think “Oh God you can’t be hungry again!?” But actually no he wasn’t, he was wanting comfort. Babies want to breastfeed for lots and lots of reasons.”
La Leche League
There are times when mothers cannot feed directly from the breast, are separated from their child for work or for school. It is important to know that you can still provide milk for your child when you are away and you can maintain your breastfeeding relationship.
"This article was developed in collaboration with Dr. Michele Griswold PhD, MPH, RN, IBCLC. Dr Griswold is a lactation consultant, registered nurse, breastfeeding researcher and advocate. She represents the International Lactation Consultant Association to the WHO/UNICEF Global Breastfeeding Collective, which calls on governments and society as a whole to provide mothers the support they need to breastfeed."