“Breast Is Best “ is what we grow up hearing, from our family, our friends and from health professionals.We know that the breastmilk is the perfect recipe milk for your baby. It is also a wonderful source of antibodies, designed to help protect your baby from getting gastro, ear aches, colds etc. in the early few months.

Why is it then, that some of us have such a problem with trying to breastfeed our new baby? Something that should be so natural,yet is so difficult in lots of cases. Back in the days of the village and larger families, you would have watched your own mum, aunts, friends breastfeed. You would have observed and absorbed the art of attaching a baby to the breast, watched different age babies at all stages of breastfeeding.

When you had your own baby, all those wonderful women would have been there to guide you and your baby. These days it is all a little different, often we haven’t ever really seen a baby do a whole breastfeed before we have our own. Breastfeeding has become something we have to learn!

When you are pregnant, it is so exciting to think about how life is going to be, with a new little person in the family. You happily organise the crib, the outfits and all the other essentials for bringing your baby home. You will no doubt sign up for pre-natal classes, most expectant mums presume the hardest bit is going to be “getting the baby out “ ! Talk to any new mum that has experienced breastfeeding problems and they will tell you, “giving birth is only one day of your life, feeding the baby is every few hours, every day for the next ever “ !

In my role as a Midwife and Lactation Consultant I am fortunate to be supporting new mums with their precious new bundles every day. In Australia we have a fantastic early initiation of breastfeeding, sadly though when mums get home and the support is not necessarily available, the breastfeeding rates drop off dramatically. So many new mums get sore grazed and cracked nipples, unfortunately this happens far too often. This then makes it hard to enjoy having the baby on the breast for very long, if at all. Sadly, this then leads to a lot of mums choosing to swap to formula.

We all want to do the best for our baby, the most important thing we are going to do for them is love them. Next on the list is to feed them. It would be lovely if in the ideal world, mums never had things like sore nipples or mastitis, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. The more you can learn about breastfeeding before you have your baby the better. Read and watch everything you can on breastfeeding.

I have just released a breastfeeding and baby care guide DVD, called Happy Mums Happy Bubs. It is a first to be able to watch up close, a baby attaching at the breast, watch and listen to in-depth breastfeeding instruction, baby massage, bathing and much more. Much easier than trying to read how to do it!

I want having a baby to be the most amazing thing that has ever happened to you and your partner. I want mum to be understanding what is going on with her own body and breasts after the baby is born, so she is a confident happy mum, with a contented happy bub.

Kate Hale. Registered Nurse, Midwife and Lactation Consultant ( IBCLC ), I am also the mother of 4 adult children.