Your ad could appear here...
for more info.
Live in Hillingdon?
Find out more
about collecting your
FREE Acorn Pack Antenatal!
When you are pregnant, thinking beyond the birth to what it will be like once your baby is born can be difficult. This section will give you some essential information about feeding your baby and you can also think about different ways for you to put in place some support once your baby is here.
It can be almost impossible to imagine what it will be like to have a new baby, especially if this is your first. But it is definitely worth thinking beyond the birth and learning about the normal course of breastfeeding, so that you know what you can expect and where to find help should you need it. Even if you decide that you aren't going to breastfeed, you may very well change your mind once your baby arrives, so it is probably best not to make any firm decisions. Remember that every breastfeed makes a difference to your baby, even if you simply give one or two feeds.
Once you've had your baby, so long as they don't need immediate medical attention, you will be able to breastfeed. If you have had a Caesarean birth, you can request for help to latch your baby on, even whilst you are being stitched up. Being skin-to-skin with you is the most reassuring way for your baby to begin their time in the world and will help to regulate his or her breathing and temperature.
Breastfeeding is a natural process, but if you've never done it before, there are some things that may take a bit of adjustment before it's second nature. It's a bit like learning to do anything new - driving, swimming, skating - you may have seen other people do it many times before, but it's only when it's you in the driving seat, the pool or the boots with the unfeasibly thin blade on the bottom that you work out which bits you need help to learn. It's absolutely fine to need help, so please ask for it.
Different options for getting help include:
There are various reasons you may decide not to breastfeed.
Sometimes the decision is made for you by prescription drugs you need to take (though check with the Breastfeeding Network's drug information that the medication is definitely incompatible with breastfeeding before you decide not to breastfeed).
Sometimes a previous experience of breastfeeding will have put you off, though it is well worth remembering that with a different baby and better support, you don't have to have the same experience again.
And a small percentage of women just don't want to breastfeed, which is absolutely their decision to make.
These are the latest Department of Health guidelines about how to make up infant formula safely. Formula powder is not a sterile product and these guidelines ought to be followed to minimise any risk to your baby from the bacteria it may contain.