‘Nothing prepares you’ – the ultimate pregnancy guide for breastfeeding and infant feeding



Pregnant and want to breastfeed? 


What do others wish they had known?


Your ultimate list to get successful at breastfeeding your baby when they arrive!

Please start by reading my previous BLOG post on the ‘formula vs breast’ to give you a starting point on WHY this isn’t a sensible question or debate to be having:

  1. There’s no need to decide now if you are going to breastfeed or formula feed. It’s perfectly reasonable to be undecided or cautious. You may be able to recollect your stories, from friends, relatives, acquaintances. The good, the bad and the ugly. They all add toward your mental image of what breastfeeding ‘should’ or ‘may’ look like. But there are no 2 experiences the same. Your story will build when the time comes, and the best thing you can do now is to change the odds in your favour. How?
  1. Keep an open mind! Read stuff that resonates! You may not know what type of a mother you will become, how would you? But you have your inner knowing, your instinct already, so when you open a blog or a book, you will feel it in your gut immediately. Go with your gut!
  1. Get informed! Look out for reputable and reassuring resources on infant feeding. National Charities such as La Leche League GB, NCT, Breastfeeding Network and ABM (Association of Breastfeeding Mothers) as well as LCGB (Lactation Consultants Great Britain) are all good places to start. Most of these have brilliant and informative websites that are research and evidence based, with further reputable resources listed to go deeper. Here is my collection of must reads. A good place to start: https://eszterboveibclc.com/useful-reading/
  1. Build your support network. We’re not to be parenting alone. During your pregnancy IS the time to write a list of human and material resources you have to rely on once baby arrives: 
  • Can you afford a mother’s help, postnatal doula or a cleaner to help you with housework and basic baby care?
  • Can you create a regular food delivery order to help you avoid the need for shopping?
  • Can you ask friends and family for a food train or hot food orders so you can focus on your baby?
  • What are your feelings about visitors? (bear in mind they may change once ‘in situ’) Prepare with polite refusal of visits in the first week(s) and/or a list of jobs visitors can do! (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding has an online ‘tearsheet toolkit’ with a ready list prepared for you…so handy!)

            See page 10: https://llli.org/resources/womanly-art-breastfeeding/#Tear

  • What jobs can you compromise on for the first 4 weeks of your baby’s life? Feeding and keeping a newborn alive is a FULL TIME JOB!
  • Can you batch cook and freeze food in advance of the birth?
  • Have you looked into local baby groups? Even though your baby will be perfectly happy just with you for months to come, YOU will feel in need of social life, adult conversation and a change of scenery. It’s nice to share with those at a similar stage of life.
  • Have you researched your local infant feeding support groups and professionals? Have you got a La Leche League group near you? (By all means pop along while pregnant, they will welcome you with open arms and answer all your questions in preparation of breastfeeding. Bonus: you will get to SEE and experience breastfeeding in action, to help you build confidence and your support network.) Save the number of your nearest IBCLC lactation consultant, just in case.
  1. Find yourself an advocate. Once your birth and breastfeeding hormones flood your body, you will be in a haze of some sort…hopefully the good kind. In any case, giving birth and early motherhood are very much oxytocin filled, right brain activities, and so you will find it extremely difficult to process, absorb and recall information and explanations given during this time. 

Please spend some time committing your wishes to paper and sharing them with your birth companion, your partner, your mother or whoever will be supporting you in the early postpartum period. If you can afford a doula, this will be money incredibly well spent! Doulas are qualified birth companions who are skilled listeners and advocates for YOUR wishes for the duration and birth of your baby and the early postpartum period. They don’t have an agenda and are perfectly placed to help you prepare for the birth, consider alternative outcomes and support you during the event in a cool, calm and professional manner. They can be a much needed link and mediator between you and the health professionals in the room. They can ask the questions you may not be able to in the moment. They can remind you what you wanted, even when you forget. 

  1. Read books (while you can) like The Positive Birth Book, The Mindful Breastfeeding Book or The Positive Breastfeeding Book. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, who are encouraging of your choices and give you confidence.

Look at websites like these to boost you:




  1. Inform yourself about NORMAL baby development and the 4th trimester from books and websites like these. Normal sleep and safe co-sleeping as well as baby-wearing might just save your sanity!




Second time mums…or beyond

All the above points apply, alongside a good old debrief with a skilled counsellor or IBCLC. 

Rest assured that every baby is different, so you get a fresh start! You get to learn from your previous experience(s) and learn more this time around.

This book is brilliant:


To all of you who got this far:

Thank you for reading and good luck!

Instead of believing that ‘nothing can prepare you’, try and prepare yourself and those who you trust prepare you!

Here to the best feeding journey you can possibly achieve!

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