Be prepared, breastfeeding can be difficult

Even parents who have taken good quality childbirth education classes can be surprised at their baby’s habits in the first few weeks after birth and how difficult to can be to establish breastfeeding.

From sore, cracked bleeding nipples to a gorgeous baby that just won’t attach, your baby’s sleeping and feeding habits are likely to be so different from your own.  And they are nothing like what the media depicts!

Having an ingrained message of what is ‘normal’ in your mind may only lead you to disaster.

Read on for some excellent tips.

Breastfeeding

Over the coming weeks, we are going to cover some basics in breastfeeding to help you along your journey.  We will consider:

   feeding patterns in newborns

   infant weight loss and weight gain and when you need to worry

   what urination and bowel movements say about your feeding routine

   the controversial topic of complementary feeding

   the sleep habits of newborns

But in the meantime…

What do you do, when breastfeeding doesn’t work and you need help? 

You need to understand that while breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, babies are not born knowing how to feed.  However, to help you both along the breastfeeding journey, your baby has been born with a sucking reflex.

From the moment your little one is born, it instinctively knows what to do.  Within the first few minutes (or can be hours if you have had pain medication), your little one will look for your breast and begin to feed.  Sometimes your baby can latch all on its own and on other occasions it will need assistance from your midwife or nurse to establish the correct positioning.

But don’t worry, if things aren’t going to plan – there is lots of support about for you.  And soon your breastfeeding journey will be underway.

So, what’s the difference between a lactation consultant and a breastfeeding counsellor?

Generally speaking, a lactation consultant is a health professional that holds an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant qualification.  He or she will be medically trained and will be able to give medical advice.  He or she may work in a hospital, child health services or private practice.  A lactation consultant will give you one-on-one support for a fee.

On the other hand, a breastfeeding counsellor is a trained volunteer who offers breastfeeding information and mama-to-mama support.  Their area of expertise is to support the mama.  A breastfeeding counsellor will have breastfed at least one baby, hold a current Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education (Counselling) or equivalent.  She will continue to complete ongoing training to update her breastfeeding knowledge and skills.  Breastfeeding counsellors generally provide phone or email counselling, run local support group meetings or administer their own local support groups.

Books

We love a good read but understand that a book can only go so far.  It can impart you with amazing wisdom on techniques and strategies to try.  But at the end of the day, if you and bub are struggling with attachment or establishing a feeding routine, then lactation consultants can give you some hands on help with attachment and feeding.

Where next?

If you need some help, below are some suggested links to help you on your journey.*

Australia: www.australianbreastfeeding.asn.au 1800 686 268 (1800 mum 2 mum)

NZ: http://www.womens-health.org.nz/?page=breastfeeding

UK: https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/breastfeeding-support/

USA: http://www.llli.org/webus.html

 

* Please note that the opinions expressed at the sites listed above do not necessarily reflect those of Natural Birth and Motherhood.  But we have found these sites to be an excellent resource.

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Hi! Natural Birth and Motherhood is about empowering women who are going through the stages of pregnancy, birth, or motherhood.  Find out more useful information on related topics by clicking on the Blog button below.

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