When we surveyed more than 6,000 new parents about their experiences, we had some idea of the sorts of responses we’d get. And indeed, many of our respondents had similar things to report when it came to their biggest worries (is my baby gaining enough weight?) and amusing moments (the infamous wee shower is always good for a laugh, apparently, as long as it’s your partner who gets wet!)
When it came to breastfeeding, we expected a variety of responses – after all, the experience is different for each of us. And our intrepid mums didn’t disappoint!
A sizeable number of you told us that you loved the closeness, convenience and bonding time that comes from breastfeeding, and many felt happy and confident enough to feed their little ones anywhere and everywhere (even whilst plopped on a display sofa in DFS – presumably as a helpful how-to?)
While our respondents were near-unanimous in supporting the right to breastfeed in public, many found it a confronting proposition in real life. A majority of our survey-takers said that feeding in public made them feel shy, embarrassed or stressed, and quite a few said they had had negative experiences with people who had made them feel uncomfortable.
But if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that when a baby’s hungry, it needs to eat... NOW. And whether you’re in public or at home, it can be a bit tricky at times. So thank goodness our savvy survey mums had so much great advice to pass along for the newbies! Here are some of their best pearls of wisdom about breastfeeding.
“Wear two tops - one vest top and one that’s looser. Then you can pull one up and one down, and nothing at all can be seen!”
“Don't give up after the first couple of days. It is hard at first, but it gets easier – and it’s so worth it!”
“The first time you try breastfeeding in public, go with close family or friends - it helps to build your confidence up.”
“Never give up on a bad day!”
“Every drop of breastmilk I can give my daughter is amazing – it’s worth being proud of what you’ve accomplished by breastfeeding your baby, no matter how long or how much you’ve managed.”
“Stick with it, it gets easier. It really does!! I truly thought after the first 10 weeks that I would need to stop, but then suddenly things just clicked. You become confident and feel proud and you have built such a connection by then. It's just incredible.”
“Keep trying if it is something you really want to do, as it gets so much easier, but don't end up getting overly stressed, there are lots of alternative options to explore. Your baby deserves a happy mum, rather than a stressed-out one!”
“Don't worry about other people’s opinions!”
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