Everything you need to know about breastfeeding…and more

Over 80% of mums who stop breastfeeding in the first six weeks weren’t ready to do so. What an astounding statistic, and gutting to read because so often these mothers feel like failures and yet it is the breastfeeding support system (or lack of it) that has failed them. But there is support out there.

For World Breastfeeding Week 2017, we shared posts focused on breastfeeding to help mums-to-be, mums and dads to have the best chance at succeeding on their breastfeeding journey. From our own breastfeeding experiences, where we found help and what we learned, to how fathers of breastfed babies can bond with their babies and support their breastfeeding partners, to guest posts from renowned breastfeeding and parenting experts sharing their knowledge and insight, we covered it all here at Tales from the Mother Side. The week even saw our very first troll (more on that in another post soon!).

We’ve pulled all of this content into one place here, to provide a one-stop shop for anyone thinking about breastfeeding, already breastfeeding, or supporting a breastfeeding mama. We hope you find it useful! And if you aren’t already following us, join our Facebook community for more content like this and on other aspects of parenting.

Getting started

Ready, Steady… Boob! Getting started! What to read, where to get support, what to wear, looking after yourself.

Q&A with Pinky McKay, IBCLC and Infant Sleep Expert: Pinky is a lactation consultant

170125PinkyMckay091
Pinky McKay, a breastfeeding expert and legend

and all-round breastfeeding and sleep expert based in Australia. She explains how breastfeeding helps babies’ development and sleep. It’s fascinating stuff and we’d highly-recommend a read.

The Brand New Breastfeeding Hub app: Our local breastfeeding café closed and this was a huge loss. But a new app has been created to deliver continued support, as well details of public places that are breastfeeding-friendly. It’s great and we’d highly recommend!

Breastfeeding experiences and advice

Breastfeeding: bonding, blocked ducts and toddlerdom: Mother Sider Lauren’s experience of breastfeeding, including the amazing bonding experience she has found it, some of the challenges and how she overcame them, where to get support, what to wear and feeding into toddlerhood (the post that earned us our first anti-breastfeeding troll for the image of feeding a 14-month old).

Breastfeeding: Nipple Shields, Slow Weight Gain and Nursing Whilst Pregnant: Mother Sider Jo’s experience of breastfeeding, which included concerns about slow weight gain, using nipple shields and nursing while expecting baby number two.

How it Feels: Letters from the Pump: While breastfeeding is the ideal for baby, for some mothers, expressing milk and bottle-feeding is the only way they can continue to breastfeed their baby. Here is one of our reader’s experience of exclusively pumping milk for her baby, to help any other mothers in a similar situation.

Nursing through Pregnancy and Tandem Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is biologically normal, so it makes sense that many mothers find themselves feeding through pregnancy and then tandem feeding a newborn and a toddler. Here’s one mum’s experience of this.

Surviving sleep deprivation: It is inevitable that parents’ sleep will be affected with a new addition to the family. So here are our tips on how to keep yourselves healthy and survive the sleep deprivation.

You cannot pour from an empty cup: Looking after yourself is so important, especially when you have people that depend on you. We asked our readers for tips on how they looked after themselves and made time for mama.

Good morning sunshine!: Yes you might not feel great, but looking good can help you feel just that bit better about yourself (we’re honest!). Makeup artist, Charley Payne, gave us her tips on how to look fresh-faced…even on barely any sleep.

For partners, friends and family of breastfeeding mamas

That bond between fathers and babies: Fathers often think feeding their baby is the main way for them to bond, which isn’t the case and can put pressure on breastfeeding mamas to introduce a regular bottle (which can shorten the breastfeeding journey). So, here are tips from us at Tales from the Mother Side and our own partners on how fathers can bond with their babies.

Father and newborn
Father and newborn – the start of a beautiful bond

To the partner of a new, breastfeeding mama: For all partners of breastfeeding mams, this advice is for you on how to support and look after your other half as she gets to grips with feeding.

Things *not* to say to a breastfeeding mama…: This parenting malarkey is a minefield, isn’t it? It’s such a divisive topic and one everyone has an opinion on. Here are things we’ve found are best not to say to a breastfeeding mama…trust us.

More information on breastfeeding and the support available

Being a La Leche League Leader: La Leche League is a non-profit organisations dedicated to supporting mothers to breastfeed. Here at Tales from the Mother Side, we have both benefitted from their support and would highly recommend their online resources and local groups to anyone thinking about or currently breastfeeding. In this article, a La Leche League leader shares how she helps mothers.

Q&A with Dr Amy Brown, writer of ‘Breastfeeding Uncovered’: An expert on breastfeeding and infant nutrition, Dr Amy Brown is subjected to a Q&A, Mother Side style. From topics like why breastfeeding rates in the UK are so low to why the way in which we feed our babies is such a divisive topic, Dr Brown shares her insight and expertise.

Have we missed anything? Let us know and we’ll endeavour to cover it in future posts. Contact us through our Facebook group, or email wearethemotherside@gmail.com

The Mother Side xx

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