"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!

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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 they can happen in a thousand 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.

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Further Reading

Nancy Mohrbacher

A wealth of guidance, from laidback breastfeeding (lying back rather than sitting up) to exclusive pumping.

Kellymom

"Aka: everything you wanted to know about exclusive pumping but didn’t know who to ask!"

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.

UNICEF

"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."

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Human Milk Community Interest Company is a registered CIC. Company number 10690629