Preparing for breastfeeding

Mothers who received expert advice before delivery tend to breastfeed longer and with greater satisfaction than other mothers.

Breastfeeding is something completely natural. However, many a young mother will be surprised that even learning to breastfeed takes practice. Breastfeeding is not a distinct instinct, but mainly an act of conditioning as primate behaviourism has confirmed.

Babies are born with an instinctive ability to look for, find and grasp a breast. This instinctive behaviour, however, needs to be enhanced by learned behaviour after birth.

Until a few generations ago, most new mothers asked their own mothers for help and assistance in breastfeeding questions. Unfortunately, this possibility is open to only but a few women nowadays as extended families are dying out and the last generation of mothers breastfed only little. Our core families are missing apparent examples, i.e. mothers who breastfed themselves and could guide the new mothers to develop their own attitudes and actions. Breastfeeding tradition has almost vanished. The knowledge of breastfeeding has been lost in many places. The majority of new mothers make their decision how to nurture their babies long before delivery. The question of how successful breastfeeding will be frequently depends on the right information in advance and the readiness of the individual woman to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is a learning process for mom & baby

Breastfeeding courses

Mothers-to-be can inform themselves about breastfeeding by visiting breastfeeding courses (also within childbirth classes) or breastfeeding support groups or by reading breastfeeding literature before delivery. Breastfeeding is mainly prepared in the mom's mind, not her breasts.

Realistic expectations for living with a newborn

  • Breastfeeding has no aura
  • Being mom for 24 hours a day is a great task
  • Family and breastfeeding infant need some time to adjust
  • Want for intimacy – skin contact – body contact
  • Breastfeeding at night
  • There are differences from mom/baby pair to mom/baby pair and from baby to baby regarding frequency and length of feeding, sleeping behaviour, etc.
Source: Training material of the Velb Basic Seminar on Breastfeeding and Breastfeeding Advice, 2009 (translated)

Composition of breast milk

Breastfeeding myths/old wives' tales

How to treat sore nipples

If you have any questions, we will be happy to help you