Nervous about breastfeeding

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This week, Blackmores Advisory Naturopath and breastfeeding consultant, Julie Cottle, addresses pre-breastfeeding nerves.

Anyone that’s attended prenatal classes will be familiar with ‘the video’-the one that shows you the birth experience from start to finish, with an optional inclusion of the first breastfeed after birth. For some mums, this can be confronting and concerning – how will you know what to do, what if it’s really difficult, or if you just never get the hang of it? 

Here’s what Julie advises. 

Q: I'm about to have a baby and I'm nervous about breastfeeding, what resources do you recommend? I want to read up on it beforehand, but also, who/ what would you recommend for any problems I might have in the early days or later?

It is wonderful that you are preparing for breastfeeding by gathering your resources before your baby is born. Many women feel nervous about breastfeeding, and it certainly can be difficult to get started. The rewards for both you and your baby are bountiful if you can work through any issues that you come up against. 

I suggest that you learn as much as you can about breastfeeding before your baby is born. Gather your support network of friends and family, and be prepared to spend the first 6-8 weeks focused on getting to know your baby, recovering from the pregnancy and birth, and building your milk supply. 

The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) run some very good courses for expecting parents, this will give you the very best information and support to set you up for a great start to breastfeeding.
If you do find that you need help with breastfeeding when your baby is born, the breastfeeding helpline run by the ABA is a resource that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

If you need hands on help, a qualified lactation consultant may be available through the hospital where you have your baby, and many private practice lactation consultants will come and visit you in your home. 

A lactation consultant can help you formulate a plan to work through any problems you may have and also provide the support you need to work through this.   

Got questions of your own? Call the Blackmores Nutrition Advisory Service 1800 808 669. 

Blackmores supports the benefits of breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for babies. However, we also recognise that not all mums are able to breastfeed, and the reasons women are not able to breastfeed are for each mum to discuss with her health care professional.