Breastfeeding. Nature’s way of feeding a baby (or a toddler if you’re me right now) is such a highly emotive topic. I subscribe to more breastfeeding Facebook groups that I can count and most days there’s an element of controversy highlighted.
It’s so dull. I’m so over it. I’m definitely a breastfeeding supporter. So much so that after I had Emmie, I qualified as a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) to support and encourage other mums in their breastfeeding endeavours. As well as to do my part to normalise the art and act of breastfeeding.
But I don’t really care how other people choose to feed their babies. With the caveats that just as long as they do, and if you’re going to argue with me, make sure you’re up on the evidence-based research and information. Otherwise I’ll probably lose interest in anything you have to say.
In my experience the primary reasons why women stop breastfeeding are:
- unrealistic expectations
- a lack of accurate information
- not enough support
These are really salient points and cover a multitude of factors. Our society’s attitude to breastfeeding and nursing mothers could be far better (because y’know, we all only do it to show off our boobs as you can see in the hanging-out photos above). Post natal healthcare practices also need improving such as separating babies from their mothers and hospital formula supplementation.
I could go on for days but if you’re planning to breastfeed my main pieces of advice would be:
- Educate yourself. Read a good book such as The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and attend a breastfeeding class
- Identify the lactation resources in your hospital and your area. Look up your local IBCLCs and breastfeeding support groups/counselors (e.g. La Leche League, Barnardos or the NCT)
- Start subscribing to online information and like Facebook pages such as The Milk Meg, Dispelling Breastfeeding Myths, The Milk Matters, UK Breastfeeding and Parenting Support, Breastfeeding USA
- Bookmark kellymom.com – an evidence based website with an amazing wealth of information
- Follow lactation stalwarts and favourites such as Dr. Jack Newman and Nancy Mohrbacher on their own blogs or Facebook
- Burn your Gina Ford book. Strict routines and breastfeeding will never be compatible
and enjoy it. It gets easier and easier over time. I’m 34 months and counting in total now!
LLL GB 0845 120 2918 www.laleche.org.uk
NCT 0300 330 0700 http://www.nct.org.uk
Lactation Consultants of Great Britain http://www.lcgb.org/
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