Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Tips from Linda Roberts
Breastfeeding can be one of the most joyful and important things you can do for your baby, and the reality is breastfeeding can also be tough. Those first few days, weeks, and sometimes months can be a challenge while you are trying to figure out this new skill. Here are a few of my top tips I wish every beautiful breastfeeding mother could know…
Trust the biology. Trust your baby. Trust your body.
Your body was made to make milk. Your genius of a baby is phenomenal at helping you figure it out. And you and your baby are built with hormones to make this process work. But…This takes practice and patience and tincture of time. Ask yourself, “Is my baby pooping and peeing enough? Do my breasts feel drained after a feeding? Is my baby gaining weight and meeting developmental milestones?” If the answer to these questions are yes, then your baby is getting enough milk!
Skin to skin is the prescription for everything. It is exactly what the baby needs to tap into his or her breastfeeding instincts and reflexes. It promotes bonding, stabilizes their breathing, stabilizes their temperature, they uses all of their senses, touching you, smelling you, feeling you…This is how breastfeeding starts.
Breastfeeding is an ever-evolving relationship and a journey that has ups and downs. It’s important to surround yourself with positive people that are going to support you and encourage you during the hardest times. Some examples are peer support, mother to mother support and breastfeeding specialists. Take advantage of all of the support around you.
It’s normal and healthy for newborns to want to nurse all. the. time. Sometimes more than once in an hour. Babies do not nurse only for hunger, they have a strong need to be on the breast to start YOUR milk making engine. Being on the breast offers them comfort, pain relief and is so calming. Think of your breastmilk as liquid love. The more they nurse the more milk you will make.
Babies are not robots. Like us, they will not eat at the same time and the exact same amount every day. Let’s watch your little genius as they show you feeding cues…and not the clock. Look for subtle wiggling, moving of the brow and mouth those are the early cues. Feed early and feed often.
Breastfeeding is normal. Breastfeeding is intense. Breastfeeding is beautiful.
In the end, I tell my clients that the most important thing is to feed your baby, however you choose to do that. Only you understand your current situation and can determine what is best for you and your child. Just know that you can breastfeed if you want to, that there is SO much help available to you…and also, always remember that you are not alone in your joy or in your struggles of breastfeeding.
Linda Roberts has supported 1000’s of families during their pregnancy, Birth and postpartum journeys during the past three decades. She is an IBCLC, Childbirth Educator, Birth and postpartum Doula, Midwives Assistant and Newborn care specialist as well as a Mother of 4. She is currently the Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Indian River County Health Department and Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator for Indian River County Healthy Start program.