Only a couple of generations ago in the UK, women had to breastfeed their babies, it was how children were fed. Women were surrounded by breastfeeding experience from being children – watching women within their community breastfeed their babies and toddlers.
Nowadays it’s not quite as simple as that – the introduction of formula milk and bottle-feeding may have given women choice but they have also altered expectations and our confidence about breastfeeding. When pregnant, how many of us now wonder if we will be able to breastfeed and announce that we are going to try to do it?
Media images of bottle-feeding, the lack of visible breastfeeding within our society and the changes within our communities mean that women now need more help to establish breastfeeding. It can be difficult to get breastfeeding assistance from our mothers and family members if they didn’t breastfed and, unfortunately, the support from some health professionals can be hit and miss as well, largely due to the lack of time and training.
Here is some basic practical information about breastfeeding, getting started and sources of support.