Breastfeeding is often described as an instinctual process where the parent and baby meet, and immediate, comfortable breastfeeding begins. If this doesn't happen then 'bad luck', it didn't work for you, move on. But many people struggle with breastfeeding, and in fact it is quite normal for breastfeeding to get off to a bumpy start, and for you and your baby to need support and guidance. Breastfeeding is something you and your baby need to learn, and this takes time and it helps if support is readily available.
Research shows that 63% of women who stop breastfeeding say they would have liked to have continued to breastfeed for longer (1). The main factor that these women stated would have helped them to continue to breastfeed was more support and guidance.
Unfortunately, leaving hospital more quickly after birth, and reduced visits from healthcare staff mean you might not feel you have had the support that you need.
Struggling with breastfeeding, even for a day or night can be hard, especially with tiredness after giving birth, the hormones that make you feel emotional, and the anxiety about whether your new baby has had enough milk.
I am an NCT trained Breastfeeding Counsellor and am happy to offer in-person and online sessions to support you reach your breastfeeding goals.
I offer antenatal preparation sessions, postnatal support sessions and emergency support.
Evidence-Based Care for the Breastfeeding Mother, Maria Pollard, 2018
Antenatal Support - Introduction to Breastfeeding
1:1 antenatal breastfeeding preparation sessions which give you the opportunity to prepare, before the birth of your baby, for early breastfeeding. Learning answers to some of the questions that you might already have, or that I find often arise once baby arrives. Such as:-
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
What is in breastmilk?
Skin to skin
First feed after birth
What makes a good latch?
How often should I feed my baby?
How will I know if my baby is getting enough milk?
How to hand express and store colostrum
How your partner can be involved
Sleep in the early weeks
Positions for feeding
I use a range of teaching methods including handouts, online resources and practical demonstrations.
I offer postnatal breastfeeding support, providing 1:1 care online or in the comfort of your home. I would sit with you and chat while you feed, listening to your journey so far, talking through what you are experiencing, and exploring further any aspects that are important to you. I can observe your feed if you would like, and offer evidence-based suggestions, resources and services to support you to meet your breastfeeding goals.
Postnatal support can either be emergency or planned support.
Emergency Support:- For when you need prompt support. Maybe feeding isn't going as planned, something has come up, you feel you need to talk to someone as soon as possible. I aim to meet you either on-line or in your home as soon as practical after you contact me, to provide support for your immediate breastfeeding needs.
The initial session is approximately 1.5 hours long.
Planned Support:- You can book a session or a block of sessions in advance, so that you know that you have support in place for when you have had your baby. Once your baby has arrived I can meet with you either in hospital or once you come home after the birth. You might like to book a few sessions in the first week, or longer term (see postnatal doula tab).