Breastfeeding may be the biologically natural way to feed a baby, but it doesn’t come easy to many women. Nothing can guarantee a smooth start to breastfeeding, but there are two things that can drastically improve your chances of breastfeeding going well: knowledge and support.
In times past, women learned about breastfeeding by seeing it around them, by watching their own mother, aunts, sisters, cousins, and friends breastfeed. By the time they were ready for their own children, they had passively learned a lot about breastfeeding and infants.
Now, we live in a very different environment. Most women only see snippets of breastfeeding, and have never been exposed to the intimate ins and outs of breastfeeding a baby. Some parents have never even held a baby before holding their own.
So, passive learning won’t work. We must learn actively!
The best way to actively learn about breastfeeding is a quality prenatal breastfeeding class, such as those offered at Intuitive Parenting. Talking with your friends and mother-to-mother peer support groups are great additions, but a well thought out prenatal breastfeeding class will provide you with the information you need to know in a format designed for the prenatal parent. A class will teach you what is normal and what to do when things may be going off course.
Knowledge builds confidence, and confident moms are more likely to meet their breastfeeding goals.
Humans are social beings, and most of us can be influenced by the positive or negative opinions around us. Supportive partners, family, friends, and healthcare providers are invaluable to the breastfeeding mom!
The postpartum time is a very vulnerable period for moms. It’s easy to start doubting yourself if your support system starts questioning your breastfeeding decisions. While your family, friends, and even healthcare providers likely mean well, none of them are probably breastfeeding experts.
It’s good to remember who is and who is not trained specifically in breastfeeding, and this includes OBs, midwives, and pediatricians because their medical training does not mean they received breastfeeding training. So, ignore the untrained negative voices, and seek help from a trained breastfeeding professional if you need extra assistance.
Surround yourself with supportive encouraging people, and you will have a much better start to breastfeeding.