I was so pleased to hear that new mum Kate Middleton is breastfeeding baby George. What a special bonding time for them, getting to know this new little person.
Hopefully this will be a great influence for mums-to-be on the subject that everyone has an opinion on. The debate on breast versus bottle has been one that has been running for years. At the end of the day, mum knows best. All babies are different, and so are all mums. Not everyone can breastfeed and we need to remember that.
I hope Kate breastfeeding gives inspiration to mums who hadn't even given it a second thought, to maybe give it a try.
It brings back memories of my own experience with my two children.
Anyone who has had children will tell you their experience. And my mum always told me, listen to that advice and filter out the bits that are relevant to you.
I am not part of the 'Breastapo', but I am very proud that I breastfed both my children. It wasn't an easy thing to do in the beginning, in fact, it was a real struggle.
For all new mums this is not an easy task. Both mum and baby have to learn this new skill and with the emotional rollercoaster you are on in the first few days it can be overwhelming.
Kate has a fantastic support network, and every new mum wants their own mum to be near, so I'm not surprised she is staying with her parents in Buckleberry.
Their decision to not give George a dummy is not a surprising one. A midwife told me when I had my first child, Amber, that when you are trying to establish breastfeeding, if you give your baby a dummy, the baby can become confused with the different shape and it can hinder a good start to feeding. So best to avoid one.
My first child, Amber, who I breastfed for 10 months, ended up having a dummy from about 6 weeks old, whereas my son, Jacob, who I breastfed for 16 months, wouldn't take to one, he preferred his thumb!
The health benefits for mum and baby when breastfeeding include: the infant having fewer chest and ear infections, and they are less likely to become obese. Let's not forget that it's free, something Kate doesn't have to worry about and it's always at the right temperature. Mums milk is rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby.
And for Kate: lower risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.
It's really lovely that William is on hand to help Kate out. And great to see him as a modern dad. I was very impressed that he smoothly clipped the car seat into it's base (good idea to use an Isofix base), and that he drove his new family home.
My husband, Mark, is a stay at home dad, and he gave up his job when we had our first child. And thank goodness he did. He would make me food and drinks to keep my energy up while I got used to feeding. I don't think I could have done it without his help.
In the first days of having a very hungry baby that needs feeding roughly every half an hour, that's pretty much all Kate will be doing.
For me, yes it was painful in the very beginning, but that soon went as we both got used to it, yes I had to have an endless supply of breastfeeding pads, as everytime my baby cried it was like turning on a hose pipe, and yes it was tiring, but it was well worth it.
What an exciting time for them.