Emily, aged just six months, is Catherine Johnson's first baby. For Catherine, breastfeeding her new baby was a relatively easy decision. "My mum breastfed me and my three sisters. So it was something I grew up with," she says.
Catherine contacted La Leche League of Ireland while she was still pregnant as she wanted to hear other people's experiences and to get further information and support.
Once Emily was born, Catherine, who is a pharmacist, began to breastfeed her immediately and despite a few small hitches, breastfeeding worked well for both mother and baby.
"I had to get a little help with the positioning of the baby and with getting her latched on initially. But once this was sorted it just got easier each day. It was almost as though we both got better at it as we knew what to do," says Catherine.
The convenience of bringing Emily places has been one of the biggest advantages for Catherine. "We've managed a couple of trips abroad and find it easy to travel with her as all you need are the nappies and clothes. Also, when we are going out somewhere we can just bring her with us without worrying about boiling kettles or anything, and if we really want to go somewhere by ourselves I can express some milk."
Other advantages of breastfeeding for Catherine have been the health benefits for Emily, the ability to bond with the baby and that breastfeeding has helped Catherine to get back into shape after having the baby.
"There has been no downside as far as I am concerned as, while I am tired, I don't think I am more tired than if I had been bottlefeeding; in fact, I might get more sleep as it's easy to get back to sleep after breastfeeding. You don't have to go to the kitchen to get a bottle," she says.