Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why breastfeed?

There is an extremely small percentage of women who cannot breastfeed. Sadly most women who I have met who claim to have not been able to breastfeed, were not evaluated by a professional lactation consultant. I hear things like "I didn't have enough milk," "it didn't feel like my milk came in," "the baby seems hungry," "it hurt," "the baby wouldn't latch properly," "the baby has digestion issues with my milk," and much more! Please, please, please, have a good reference for a lactation consultant at your fingertips BEFORE you give birth. That way, if you have any questions or issues, all you have to do is pick up the phone. Most consultants will come to the hospital or your home. Ask on your local mom boards or your local Le Leche League leader.

It is still shocking to me that babies are not born knowing how to breastfeed but they must be taught. And us as mothers, have to learn how to breastfeed and how to teach the baby to breastfeed.  Yes, this is a lot for a new mother and that is why support is so important! I found it helpful to go to a free breastfeeding class before giving birth and to cover to cover read a book about breastfeeding. The book was in my hospital bag so I read and re-read it again while in the hospital to make sure that I was doing it right. The nurses in my first hospital, were telling me that I had a great latch when I didn't (it should never hurt) and I was happy to have extra help in my book!

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