Breastfeeding brand Medela’s latest campaign - #countto10 - is an inspired project that aims to support mums-to-be and those in the early days of breastfeeding. The new initiative is an honesty campaign to provide a more realistic picture of what to expect when it comes to breastfeeding. A recent survey commissioned by Medela, and completed by almost 2,000 mums, found that 70% of mums wish they had been given a clearer and more realistic picture of what to expect when breastfeeding. Addressing this common concern, #countto10 will encourage everyone from mums through to health visitors to share honest advice, information and top tips from early on, to help prepare new mums for breastfeeding and even prolong their feeding journeys.
1. I wish I’d have known that it would take time and patience to get it right. It took eight weeks for me to stop having to squeeze my butt cheeks together every time my son latched on, but then suddenly it all fell into place, we both knew what we were doing, and it became effortless. Giovanna Fletcher, Author and wife of McFly Frontman, Tom Fletcher
2.I wish that midwives and NCT would stop saying 'If breastfeeding hurts you're doing it wrong,' as I, and nearly every mother I know, found that it does hurt at first, even when you're doing it right! It wouldn't have put me off to know this, but it would have been better to be warned (also I wouldn't have panicked that I was doing it wrong, when I wasn't). Women still opt for natural births, knowing that labour will hurt, so it's unnecessary and patronising to presume they won't try to breastfeed if they're warned it will hurt at first. Francesca Hornak, journalist and author of Worry With Mother: 101 Neuroses for the Modern Mama
3.Though it is the most natural thing in the world, it's not the easiest and, like everything, takes time to learn and perfect. Your baby has to learn to latch, learn to suck and your body has to adjust. Expect pain, expect moments where you think you can't do this. Know that you can and ask for support and help. Don't be afraid to say if you feel it really isn't the best thing for you and your baby but don't give in if you don't want to. Harriet Shearsmith, Parenting Blogger and Medela Mum at Toby and Roo
4.If there is anything I learnt about breastfeeding that I wish I knew before I had my 1st baby it's the fact that milk can take more than 2-3 days to come in. Sandra, Parenting Blogger and Medela Mum at The Black Pearl
5."The sleep deprivation will probably be worse than you ever imagined and at times it may feel like actual torture. Waking every 90 minutes or so all through the night to feed is immensely tough. But it is important to know that it won't last forever and just when you think you can't take it anymore things will get better. Once your baby is able to soothe itself to sleep around 6 months old your world will change completely. Hang on in there." Dr Lily Canter – Freelance Family and Consumer Journalist, Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University
6.Breastfeeding has been harder for me than the labour, yet I had no idea this would be the case. Learn how to get a good latch and don't be afraid to take baby off if the latch is painful. If at first you don't succeed try try try again. Once it settles down the quiet moments in the middle of the night make it all worthwhile. P.S keep a cabbage in the fridge and get a good nipple cream! Izzy Judd, Musician wife of McFly Drummer, Harry Judd
7."My experience of breastfeeding my two children are quite different, whilst I’ve been able to breastfeed them both, with my son it was a huge struggle and quite an emotional time. If I had one piece of advice is would be not to be ashamed of asking for help. I felt like I was letting myself and my baby down by admitting how much I was struggling and although it eventually became easier I would have benefited greatly (and sooner) by asking for help from a lactation consultant or breastfeeding group." Fritha, Parenting Blogger and Medela Mum at Tiger Lilly Quinn
8."Whilst I struggled with breastfeeding and ended up expressing for 6 months, on reflection, I truly believe that with the right support from the right people around you and much self belief and inner strength, breastfeeding is possible and once it clicks, which it so often does, you'll never look back". Nicola Bon, Smooth FM Radio Presenter and Journalist
9."Don’t feel like you have to wear a bra in the first few weeks. If your nipples are sore, simply wear a super loose t-shirt, this’ll help them breath and heal quicker. If your nipples are cracked and the pain is just too much (as it can be) express your milk for a few days, this will give your body (and nipples) a chance to recover. It’ll also keep your milk supply up and your little one is still getting your milk. Once you’re nipples are over the initial shock, the pain will go away and breastfeeding is a truly lovely experience." Heledd, Parenting Blogger and Medela Mum at Running in Lavender
10. “I wish I had known about the immense pain of the first few days of feeding leading onto the immense pleasure! Pleasure like I have never known in my life. It created such a bond with my boy. I even get jealous when I see mothers still feeding.” Claire Sweeney, Actress
To join in and share helpful advice, information and tips on all things breastfeeding, mums simply need to use the hashtag #countto10 on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.