Well hello pregnant Mama! Congrats on your pregnancy I’m so pleased you want to breastfeed. You’ve probably heard it’s the best thing for you and your baby so you’re going to give it a good go and can’t wait for all those baby snuggles and bonding time. When we’re pregnant for the first time we know we have a choice to make about how to feed our baby. It’s just one of those many choices that are to be made during pregnancy.

I know that you’re thinking about the birth and doing everything you can to prepare for the big day. And I’m thrilled that you’re doing that, because birth preparation goes a long way to making the day you meet your baby the most amazing of your life.

Let me tell you what happened on the day my 1st son was born. 11 years ago, I had aced birth planning. Through pregnancy yoga, aqua-natal , antenatal classes and reading just about every book and website I could find on the subject, my beautiful son was born in water, in our living room. It was utterly incredible. The joy and feelings of empowerment I had at that moment were like nothing I’d ever felt before.

Afterwards we were tucked up in our own family bed, a cup of tea and toast besides us. I was breastfeeding him and all seemed well. When the midwife left, my husband and I looked at each other and shrugged. I guess it’s all up to us from here then! Now bear in mind that I was a paediatric nurse so I had years of caring for babies under my belt. But this felt different in a way I’d never imagined. This was OUR baby. He was our responsibility, no one else was going to be making the decisions from here on in, it was all down to us.

And as the next few days went on I realised that yes, I knew how to change an nappy, I knew how to tell if he was poorly, or needed winding. But when it came to breastfeeding I knew NOTHING. I hadn’t read a single thing. What had I been thinking! Yes I’d supported women on the wards to get a comfortable latch but really, I had never had more than a 2 hour lecture on how breastfeeding actually works and that was back in the 90s!

You see the thing is, that I didn’t know I needed to plan when it came to breastfeeding. I thought that breastfeeding was something that was just a method of feeding a baby. Either put a boob or a bottle in your babies mouth….that’s the choice. And in my mind the only option had always been boob. But now that this tiny little human was here, this little person that we had made, that we had 100% responsibility for, the questions started coming….

How do I know he’s getting enough?

How do I know when to swap sides?

How do  know if I need to pump?

How on earth do I feed in public? Without flashing my boobs?

And then 3 days later…

How do I do this without it hurting so much?!

Now, over a decade later and after years of breastfeeding and training, I’m helping families to answer these very questions. And after working with 100s of families I know that everyone worries about the same things as I did in those early weeks.

Breastfeeding DOES need some preparation. We DO need to think about life after the birth as well as the actual birth itself. And during pregnancy is absolutely the best time to do this.

That’s why I’ve teamed up with the Calm Birth School to provide a free, 3 day, online event for you all….. Breastfeeding Busted! I will be sharing with you all those things that I and other Mums of Newborns wish that they’d known BEFORE their baby came along.  What do you need to get ready? What are the most common issues in the 1st week? When is the right time to ask for help? How does breastfeeding actually work?

I would absolutely love it if you joined me from 2nd -4th July 2018 in the Calm Birth School Community group to find out more. If you sign up for the 3 days you’ll receive a free “preparing to breastfeed checklist”. Right into your inbox.  Sign up here

This article was also published by the Calm Birth School in their weekly newsletter. www.thecalmbirthschool.com