Breast is best . . . for as long as you can manage

APPARENTLY more new Mums in Northamptonshire are breast-feeding. This is great news. Newborns are meant to be breastfed. Breast milk has loads of natural antibodies which protect babies when they are at their most vulnerable.

But some Mums just can’t get the hang of it. It’s not that easy at first unless you have an excellent midwife who can show you exactly how to do it properly. It can be painful. If you don’t get this early help, or the ‘ick’ factor is just too much, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it.

You don’t have to do it for long if you don’t want to. Just breastfeeding for a few weeks, days even, will be better than not at all, as it also shrinks your insides back more quickly after the birth (the dreaded afterpains that no-one warns you about). And you don’t have to have baby permanently attached.

There’s nothing wrong with dual feeding – boob and bottled formula combined – or expressing and then putting it in a bottle. Do what works for you, and don’t let the breastfeeding-only Mafia bring you down. New mums have enough to deal with, without feeling guilty that they haven’t breastfed until their offspring start school. . .

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