Having recently become a mum and not really knowing what to expect with breast feeding I thought I would share my top tips and purchases.
1. Be prepared - I was not because I did not know what to expect. Purchase the supplies you will need to make breast feeding easier. I found the essentials in the early days to be;
A V shaped pillow - I cannot tell you how useful I found this. In fact i personally had two, one for me and one for baby. I used one to support my own back and the second I wrapped around my middle for baby to lie on whilst we fed.
Nipple cream - buy a good cream to ease any discomfort, my recommendation would be to look for one which does not have to be cleaned off before feeding again.
Breast feeding bras and tops - easy access is essential, when your little one is crying you do not want to be having to undress. Bras and tops with clips on the straps are excellent and you can keep your middle covered rather than having to lift your top up. They will inevitably need to be changed frequently and not worn for very long so I chose to buy some tops second hand, from eBay!
2. Expect to be feeding a lot - the thing which I seriously underestimated is how much new born babies feed. Remember how tiny their tummies, they empty and need refilling often. This does get less frequent with time but what is better than staring at your little one anyway!
3. Get comfortable - It is difficult, and sometimes uncomfortable, to move once the baby is latched on so get comfortable and have everything you might need in reach.
4. Drink plenty - make sure that you stay hydrated too. Not only is it important for milk production but also you are likely to get thirsty just as they latch on, so be prepared.
5. Don't be afraid to seek help. Breast feeding should not hurt. If it does seek help form a midwife or lactation consultant, they can help you check your babies latch or see if something else is wrong. I suffered for weeks thinking that was just how it would be but it turns out that my baby was tongue tied and one that was fixed we were both much happier!