Feeding Breast is best but

No doubt about it: Breast milk is the best form of nutrition for babies. But sometimes breastfeeding proves extraordinarily difficult or mothers don't feel able to do it — for example, if your baby is very sick, premature or can't suck, or if you have a health problem, you may not be able to establish breastfeeding.

Even if you can't supply all the milk your baby needs, anything is better than nothing. Whatever amount of breast milk you can provide will have plenty of goodness to help your baby grow and protect his health. If you can't provide enough for him, he can be topped up with formula.

Too many opinions

We gave the IVF mums in our study free reign to comment on anything they liked or disliked about their stay in hospital after childbirth, and the breastfeeding advice they received topped the list of negative comments by far. The two main reasons why the women were unhappy were the lack of consistency in the advice and being discharged from hospital before breastfeeding was established, as these comments show:

I I never had the same nurse help me with breastfeeding and every new nurse had her own techniques and ideas about how I should do it, so I was left even more confused than I was to start with.

All the different opinions about breastfeeding confused me and affected my confidence in feeding for the first few weeks.

I was sent home just as the milk was coming in so I didn't really have a chance to understand how to feed properly before I left the hospital.

My milk didn't come in for another couple of days and that brought on major feeding problems which could have been rectified if I was still in hospital.

Although nearly all the IVF mums in our study provided some breast milk to their baby while they were in hospital, either by breastfeeding or by expressing, they didn't always find this easy. More than two-thirds needed a lot of help and advice about feeding, with first-time mothers, mothers of twins and those who had a caesarean delivery needing the most help. However, less than half of them felt that the help and advice they received was clear and worked well; in fact, many thought that the advice was confusing and didn't work.

So treat breastfeeding advice for what it is: A well-meant suggestion for how to breastfeed that works for some. But if the advice doesn't work for you, ditch it and try another piece of advice.

Several studies have shown that breastfeeding is harder to establish after a caesarean delivery than a vaginal birth. This is partly because mums are often separated from their baby after a caesarean section and don't get to put their baby to the breast within the first hour after birth.

100 Pregnancy Tips

100 Pregnancy Tips

Prior to planning pregnancy, you should learn more about the things involved in getting pregnant. It involves carrying a baby inside you for nine months, caring for a child for a number of years, and many more. Consider these things, so that you can properly assess if you are ready for pregnancy. Get all these very important tips about pregnancy that you need to know.

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