by | May 7, 2011 8:30 pm
I’ve decided to breastfeed my baby and know that I’m going to need help and support when my baby is born. I know my baby and I will both be adjusting to changes in our bodies and learning something new.
What we need most, to ease the transition after the birth and to learn to breastfeed, is uninterrupted time together. When I learn something new, it is very important for everyone around me to believe in me and encourage me to keep me confident.
Do you remember when you helped me learn something new as a child? If I didn’t have your patient support and the knowledge that you believed in me, I may not have had enough confidence to overcome the fear of so many unknowns.
When I learned to ride a bike, I didn’t know all the physics of how I was going to get on the bike and stay on, nor did I need to. I didn’t need a lot of detailed instructions. I learned best by doing. I had to master balance, steering, pedaling, and speed in order to maintain the momentum to keep me on the bike and moving forward. I only needed an extra pair of hands to support me and cheers of encouragement, as I made my attempts and found my way to that successful ride.
So don’t be afraid if you never breastfed or you don’t feel you remember enough about those newborn days to guide me. I’ve been reading and talking with other moms about breastfeeding and newborn babies. I’ve learned how to get comfortable with my baby as we get to know each other and learn the art of breastfeeding together. I’ve learned the common breastfeeding pitfalls [Booby Traps] that are often caused by misguided advice and not ensuring mom and baby are together from the moment of birth (or as soon as possible thereafter, if there are medical reasons for separation). I know who to call for help if I have “technical” problems and who to call for extra emotional support.
What I need from you is for you to be the mom you are, showing your belief in my ability to feed my baby and your confidence that breastfeeding really does work. As time goes on, we have new information and resources at our disposal; and just like using seat belts and car seats, as we know better, we do better.
I’ve listed a few things here about breastfeeding that are normal but often cause concern in a society that is more comfortable and familiar with bottle-feeding. I think if you are aware of these things (many you may already know), you will be able to relax as you watch me and my baby learn to breastfeed, and will be able to focus your energy and attention on making sure I have all the time I need to be with and feed my baby, and nourish myself.
Look for Part II: “A Breastfeeding Fact Sheet for Grandmothers” in our next post! We will be offering both this letter and the fact sheet as a single downloadable PDF once our Mother’s Day series wraps up. Watch for the downloadable document to be announced on our Facebook page.
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