From working as an osteopath I knew that many new mothers experience frustration in the first days of breastfeeding when different midwives give totally different and often conflicting advice about feeding infants, but I thought that because I was aware of this and because I'd educated myself somewhat prior to the birth that I wouldn't have so much trouble. Unfortunately I couldn't control who was on shift or available for advice. The advantage of having some prior knowledge meant that I could ignore the advice which I didn't think was useful, but it was still frustrating.
That first morning I could tell that my son wasn't latching on properly. My nipple felt a little irritated and everything I'd read and watched prior to the birth said that feeding newborns should not hurt but can be difficult initially to get right. All the literature also said not to push the head toward the breast but to support behind the upper back and allow the baby to position themselves in the right spot. The only midwife available to help me unfortunately did push his head toward my breast. Even though I knew this was wrong I didn't have access to anyone else to ask for help at the time. It wouldn't be til the next day that I got different advice...
Prior to the birth my husband and I had decided we wanted to have a few days completely on our own to just enjoy our little man all by ourselves and have time to settle into the first days of bresatfeeding without too much outside influence, but after the drawn out pre labour we decided to have family come and help us out straight away. In those first days of breastfeeding I recommend:
-Have your own space if possible. Make sure you are able to remove yourself from company if you feel embarrassed with breastfeeding in public. Though it is natural and wonderful, decades of keeping your breasts covered up leads to mental conditioning that can take a while to overcome.
- Make sure that if you are planning on being at home without anyone else that you can call on people if your birth happens to be particularly long or traumatic and you need help with basic things like cooking meals.
- Be ready to allow your plans to change. Having a rigid plan makes for disappointment if things don't go quite the way you want them to. (This is true of everything to do with newborns right through to teenagers!)
- in the first days of breastfeeding your nipples will be very tender as they get used to being sucked on, if possible keep them exposed to the air rather than covered up in a bra to help this transition occur smoothly.
My First Baby
Feeding Infants - My Son's Birthday
My Second Baby