The first step towards making breastfeeding successful is to make the decision before having a baby and this is the best time to start learning about breastfeeding and ensuring that it's the right decision for you. Breastfeeding is good for new mothers as well as for their babies in a number of different ways and whilst many people believe it's simply a social or lifestyle choice this is simply not the case.
Breastfeeding is the completely natural way to feed your baby, and certainly nothing to be ashamed over. One of the greatest advantages of breastfeeding is that it's convenient and with it being a supply and demand process you produce enough for the feeds that you are giving.
By breastfeeding your child you give them vital immune system nutrients and the longer that you can breastfeed for the better the chances they will be healthier. For mom there are real benefits too, such as being a natural way to help reduce post partum weight
You're bound to get loads of advice from friends and family and there are obviously tons of pages of advice readily available on the internet for any questions that you may have. One that seems to be repeated everywhere is what you can and can't eat and part of this subject revolves around most women's favorite - chocolate!
Chocolate contains caffeine and caffeine is passed from mother to child when nursing. If you have an excessive caffeine intake (by gorging on chocolate for example) you can pass on higher levels of caffeine. Some babies can become colicky or have gas or an upset tummy as a result.
There are many different foods and drinks that people recommend that you don't consume whilst breastfeeding but there is no reason at all why you shouldn't eat chocolate, in moderation.
You have to appreciate that you and your baby are unique so don't try and fit a mould too much. Obviously there's always comfort in knowing that your experiences are not entirely unique. The best thing that you can do, along with a million other things, is to keep a food diary and note your baby's behavior. If you do this for a 4-week period then you should be able to note any problems and identify if certain foods or drink affect your baby and you can adjust accordingly.
A good idea would be to give this responsibility to dad, if applicable, as this will involve him in the feeding process and help establish his worth during what is an extremely close time for mother and baby, in short preventing him from feeling left out.