I am currently frustrated with the poor start many moms are getting with breastfeeding. These women do not have "problems" with their breasts or their milk supply or their ability to breastfeed but they have a problem with complicated and nonsensical information and instruction. I can not count how many people have told me they have "flat/inverted/large/small/etc." nipples and therefore can not breastfeed. Or they have too large or too small breasts. Or they are "too uncoordinated".
Almost all of these issues are not truly issues with these women but a systemic issue with a society that undermines breastfeeding and undermines womens' confidence in themselves to breastfeed. This lack of confidence then flows into their ability to parent.
We need to establish simple instructions for breastfeeding initiation. Success here will translate to success in other aspects of parenting. We need to stop telling women that their bodies are somehow deformed or disfunctional. We need to stop providing herbs and prescriptions to women to build milk. Women have an inate ability to breastfeed as do babies.
Women need to put the baby to the breast with confidence and without stress. Babies need to be allowed to go to the breast when they are ready, not on some arbitrary schedule. Babies are capable and hardwired to breast feed and if everyone would slow down and allow healthy new borns to figure it out, they will usually succeed.
If well meaning HCP or support people are putting the baby to the mom's breast then we are telling her that we can do it, not showing her that she can do it.
Let us commit to telling our positive breastfeeding stories. Let us destress the mom and commend her for feeding her baby in the "normal and healthy way". Let us be patient and allow the mom and babe to get to know and enjoy each other before we put our hands all over both of them!!
I am now going to write simple but not overly simple instructions for my clients. I will be creating this book to take action where action is needed. Please wish me luck and guidance in keeping it "as simple as possible, but not simpler"