Breastfeeding, chestfeeding, body feeding, whichever term speaks to you, is HARD! Let's not pull punches or mince works, it is hard work. Not only is it hard work, nursing your new baby is pretty much your new job. I tell my clients, find a super comfortable place to nurse, "you live here now!"
I say none of this to discourage anyone about breastfeeding, it is a beautiful process, it is the ideal food source for your baby and it is perfectly calibrated for your baby's changing needs. But that does not negate the difficulty of it. For most, there will be worries and challenges to face. Not being honest about the potential struggles does a disservice to people and it makes them feel unheard.
There are not enough resources for nursing families, sometimes you are coming home from the hospital before your milk supply even arrives. Families can be left scrambling and feeling extremely overwhelmed.
So how can you set yourself up for a smoother ride, or at least have resources available if you are struggling or confused.
* Start when you are pregnant, read breastfeeding books, take a breastfeeding class, if you have a Doula, make sure you spend some real time practicing techniques.
* Know what challenges exist and be prepared, (buy silverettes, have Epsom salts ready for your Haakaa incase of a plugged duct).
* Try your pump out in advance (after 37 wks.) Sterilize any bottles and have them ready for use.
* Watch MANY videos. We live in a culture where we do not witness breastfeeding, watch lots.
* Have a list of resources ready to go, think Lactation Counselor's and/or Consultants. Find your local La Leche League group, drop in groups and Public Health phone numbers.
Breastfeeding is amazing. You can do it! You may just need some extra support.
This post is in no way intended to alienate any formula, or combo feeding parents, it is intended for the breastfeeding reader. This Doula is very much in support of all types of feeding, what works for you, works for me!