“I was determined to breastfeed, and had done lots of research and knew how the latch should look, and some different positions I could hold baby in so was rather under the illusion that given a bit of getting used to I would be merrily feeding away in no time. Hmmm well turns out it’s not really as easy as you imagine! My little boy just didn't get that he needed to suck to get the milk out, and I felt quite awkward holding him in position and got obsessed with getting the right latch position. I remember crying my eyes out with frustration, guilt and rejection as my son preferred to have milk poured down his throat from a syringe! At that point I was so very close to giving up and bottle feeding, and would not blame any mummy who did give up then. But I am so very very glad I didn't in the end as 5 1/2 months on I love breastfeeding! I put my success down to determination and fantastic support from my partner and nurses. Absolutely nothing beats the milk-drunk face that only breastfeeding babies get, and the pride you feel knowing you are providing everything they need to grow. Also there is nothing quite like a nipple to sooth a cross baby! Never fails.

Some tips...
• Not all midwives on the ward are as passionate about breastfeeding as others, so don't feel overwhelmed by different advice you get. I got told that the reason my son wouldn’t feed was because I was carrying him round too much...what rubbish! If advice doesn't seem right to you, ignore it!

• This doesn't happen to everyone but my milk supply was ridiculous, and I spent my whole time covered in milk, so get you partner to bring in a heap of clean t-shirts (I'm talking several changes a day).

• If you have to express, I found that I spent ages hand expressing colostrum, only to have it leaking everywhere in the meantime, so I invested in these breast shells, like a cup that slots into your bra... You will be glad that you don't have to spend ages expressing as you can just collect what has dripped into the shell... But don't forget you have them in and bend over, it’s devastating seeing all that lovely colostrum pouring out of the holes at the top!

• When you feed/express from one side, the other side will leak like crazy! You will need to change that breast pad during feed at first, or I use a muslin tucked into the bra on that side.

• I find bibs are a must as my son is a very messy eater! But that does depend on your baby.

• In the early days wear black or other colours that hide wet patches! And tops that dry quickly.

• I still get occasional times when our feeding pattern goes haywire or I start getting pain or other such and at these times I find message boards, breastfeeding mum friends and breastfeeding support groups are invaluable.

• Growth spurt days tie you to the sofa feeding all day! Get a big bottle of water, chocolate and enjoy the enforced period of sitting, don't bother trying to get anything done on those days! It won't happen and you will just stress out.

• Before sitting down to feed make sure you have a drink, phone, remote, book, food etc... Anything you think you might need.

• Sometimes milk fountain out of your nipple! Either quickly pop it into baby’s mouth, or push nipple in which will stem the flow for a while!

Breastfeeding is awesome and well worth the hard work! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.”

Bryony Rose Mason, County Durham and Darlington.