What do you think of when you hear Breastfeeding?
You think; cracked nipples, milk squirting everywhere, people accidentally drinking breast milk left in the fridge and a child sucking on you all the time!
But when pregnant do you ever stop and wonder about the process and actually how to breastfeed?
I had many different experiences learning about how to breastfeed while pregnant, what was important and how it might work! One experience of learning how to breastfeed was with my sister who is a labour and delivery nurse. We were pregnant at the same time and she asked one day ‘do you have good nursing nipples’? That was a question that I can honestly say had never been asked before, nor since! But apparently it can be important in the process of how to breastfeed and whether you may need to use a nipple shield or not. I bet that was not something you thought you would ask your midwife, but might as well on your next appointment!
Another experience was my public hospital I had Addi in, actually had a breast feeding Class for any mum. One of the ladies there was having her 4th child and wanted to try breastfeeding this one as she hadn’t been able to with the other 3. She and I both found it quite informative and the class took away some of the unknown questions of how to breastfeed. It also cleared up the scary words I kept hearing like: blocked milk duct, mastitis, lanolin cream!! It was nice to have someone explain how it worked and calmed a few more fears us pregnant women have and be prepared.
I was thankfully able to have Addi naturally and after she was examined by a doctor (she had pooped in her water and was going as pink as they wanted quick enough, but was fine) we did skin to skin. I know in America they want to weigh them, measure, take their foot prints etc right after birth but I insisted that she stay on me until she had her first feed. I had no idea how to breastfeed, or how this journey was going to begin, but it was quite great! In my ‘How to Breastfeed’ class they mentioned that if you place a newborn on mummies chest, they will move themselves to the nipple themselves and begin to nurse on their own. That was exactly what Addi did. Within 20 minutes of joining us in this world, Addi wiggled herself down to a breast and fed herself. There was no shoving a boob in her mouth, no dramatic experience, it was doing skin to skin and letting what came naturally happen. I have heard of some women who were told they needed to use a nipple shield because they didn’t have nursing nipples trying this same technique and they too have come away with success.
The process of how to breastfeed can be a daunting one and something I think mums get worked up about and is personal. Do what is best for you and your baby at all times. Check with your hospital for a breast feeding class near you! Also, don’t be afraid to ask your midwife lots and lots of questions all about nursing whenever you get the chance!
I have also put together a Breastfeeding Guide ebook for free. It is on the left hand side of the website, just enter your details a your book is there!
Did you plan to breastfeed your baby? Were you able to?