Prepare for breastfeeding BEFORE baby is born? Why bother?


This week is all about your unborn child, your first baby.I, for one, was completely ignorant when it came to breastfeeding my first. I thought a LOT about the birth, but beyond? I went and bought some (all the wrong kind of) clothes, acquired a cot (little did I know how little time she would spend in it), was given a whole pile of unnecessary (if nice) stuff during my ‘baby shower’… then I put my head down and continued to work as a teacher of 30 5-y year olds in a primary classroom until 2 days before my labour started.


I read ONE amazing book during my pregnancy that was truly life changing. Ina May’s guide to Childbirth opened up a whole new world of thinking about doing what has been done by female humans for millennia, the most basic function of our species: giving birth.

Ina May talks about he sphincter theory: the shy sphincter, may it be our anal opening when you’re passing stools or opening of your cervix for giving birth… you generally do better without an ‘audience’. Reason? For a good, relaxed, spontaneous, natural, biological birth you need OXYTOXIN to flow. Without it… things slow down, stop even, you get stressed and stress and fetal ejection reflex don’t mix. Your baby may get stuck in the birth canal and you may need interventions.

What is it to do with breastfeeding? For your MILK EJECTION REFLEX to kick in and ‘let down’ your milk, out of your breast milk ducts, through your nipples, to your baby, you also need the same hormone: OXYTOCIN. Also called the hormone of LOVE, the hormone that is present during sex, during childbirth and gentle touch is also present while you breastfeed or even just when you cuddle your baby.

In our Zoom sessions, amongst other things, we talk about HOW you can achieve this hormone to flow, whether you feed directly at the breast or chest, or you express your milk in case baby won’t or can’t latch (yet).

Part 3.

So I held my baby. I treasured my baby. I put my baby to the breast. And she cried. And she fed. And she woke 6, 7, 8 times a night. And I got up. Carefully arranged my cushions on the sofa: one end to feed from the right boob, the other end for the left boob (to match the arm rests), TV on to keep me company during those long and lonely nights. And my tears fell.

I felt like I was the only mum around the whole world doing this day in day out, night in, night out. I didn’t have ‘mummy friends’. I didn’t have a social network. I didn’t even have an extended family anywhere nearer than thousands of miles away. What I did have though was my instinct…which somehow carried me through those long first few months. And another thing I had was my ever so supportive husband.

During this session we will also touch on the subject of building your support network DURING your pregnancy, as according to the famous proverb:”It takes a village to raise a child.”

Part 4.

Some mums aren’t as lucky as I were. During my 8 years of supporting families in the early days of breastfeeding (and beyond) I have met hundreds who suffered. From non latching babies, through sore and bleeding nipples, via mastitis, babies losing weight, struggling with positioning, feeling lonely and abandoned, lacking family and professional support, being overwhelmed and more…I’m not here to scare you.I’m here to reassure you and show you the reality of breastfeeding.


Before you can drive a car, you learn the theory. Then you practice next to an instructor or an experienced driver. In our society there isn’t always an army of experienced helpers around us. Without it though, you’re left with the overwhelm of millions of social media posts, a random selection of articles, google searches and books to ‘reassure’ you. I’m here to guide you on your journey. If you like, this can just be a taster and the beginning of building your knowledge and information base… because of course none of us can truly drive that car when we pass our test.. it can take months or not years to get confident behind the steering wheel.

Part 5.

So breastfeeding is natural like walking, not like breathing. It’s a learned skill.Most of us just need a bit of guidance and we’re away swimming happily across the calm waters of happily feeding our babies, after the initial choppy seas throwing us about a bit.

There are, however, a few of us (less than 5%) who are truly not able to produce enough milk for our babies. The reasons are few and well documented, so it should come as no surprise after the birth (apart from anatomical/physiological reasons in BABY).

Parental reasons include:

1. Low or disrupted hormone levels (clues: not being able to conceive naturally, PCOS, thryroid issues, no or very little breast development during puberty and pregnancy). This can result in underdeveloped glandular tissue (sometimes manifesting as hypoplasic breasts) which will not be able to produce a full milk supply. Even in these cases, there WILL be a solution for feeding baby at least partially at the breast. This can be supported by the use of something called a lactation aid or nursing supplementer (at breast supplementer, supplementing nursing system).

2. Previous breast surgery or injury to the breast, which includes breast reduction or augmentation. Each and every case is individual and different, so please seek support from a qualified professional in lactation who will look into your history and gauge during your pregnancy and early days of breastfeeding, how your breastfeeding journey can be optimised and milk supply maximised.

I run weekly sessions on Zoom with varying focus. Your ‘focus group’ will feature monthly, e.g. antenatal sessions happen once a month, early baby support group once a months, long term breastfeeders on another Saturday. For dates, please visit my social media accounts or contact me directly.

To book a session where you get to meet others at the same stage of life, get to ask all your questions from myself (IBCLC and breastfeeding counsellor supporting families for 8 years now, and parenting my own for nearly 12), click link in BIO which will take you to a Google sign in form:

90 minutes in the comfort of your own home, with a cuppa and your feet up, in PJs if you like.No judgement, no such thing as a stupid question.


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