Every time World Breastfeeding Week approaches, I am reminded of my purpose which is to help mothers and babies thrive and flourish at breastfeeding. Let me give you some back story.
For as long as I can remember, my number one goal has been to be an amazing mother to my children. Ask me anytime anywhere about my aspirations, the first will be to be an awesome Mama. Part of this for me includes breastfeeding. Imagine my surprise when I finally had my first child and breastfeeding was excruciatingly painful. Let?s start from the fact that my chest felt like cement blocks were placed on it when my milk came in. Or the fact that breastfeeding after a caesarean section is a tricky and most painful experience because first you?re dealing with the pain of the surgery and then you also feel pain from your womb contracting due to the hormones released during breastfeeding. Lastly came the pain from breastfeeding itself! Oh, the horror! The sore nipples, the baby who refused to latch properly. But guess what? I got through it and so can you. Let me share some of my best tips with you.
1. Know your Hospital?s stand on Breastfeeding
Even though the World Health Organization mandates hospitals to support breastfeeding, not all are able to do so properly. For example, if your hospital sells or has staff who sell formula, you?re likely not to get the best support. Engage with your health provider, ask as many questions as you can. Be sure they?re committed to supporting you on this journey.
2. Be informed
Do you know that The World Health Organization states that breastfeeding should be initiated within the first hour after delivery? In fact, the WHO encourages that babies be placed skin to skin to their mothers even before the cord is cut. Attend a breastfeeding class, go for your antenatal classes, read articles on breastfeeding. Remember, this is your child?s nutrition for at least the next 6 months, it?s pretty important.
3. Expect your little one to need you a lot!
You know how in movies, people have babies and are back to their former lives in no time, absolute lie! I often say that motherhood is where things are never as they were. Your baby will need you a lot! Especially in the first 3 months. Remember, he?s just been ejected from his 7-star hotel (a.k.a you) where he doesn?t need to cry for anything. Food, warmth, security, and oxygen are automatically provided. Also, you?ve been his safe place for the past 9 months, he?s not about to let go now. It?s completely normal for babies to feed round the clock in the early days. Most newborns will feed every 2 hours; especially at night.
Absolutely no one should go through Motherhood on their own. Whether it?s the company you pay to do your laundry or the cousin that helps with the cooking, don?t be afraid to ask for help. You?ve earned it! You have just carried, nurtured and birthed life; that makes you freaking awesome Mama! Your partner can help with night feeds or diaper changes or simply hold the baby while you catch some zzzs. Don?t try to do it all on your own.