• chelseamhigbee

a quick note about breastfeeding


I'm headed to the local hospital this evening to take their breastfeeding with some local expecting parents. Matt and I took one too, when we were pregnant with Camden. It was really useful, too. The IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant) at the hospital we were delivering at taught the class, which was extra helpful! Also, all of their nurses were CLCs too, so I felt like regardless of taking this class, we had a lot of support surrounding us during our hospital stay.


After getting into birth work, I've quickly realized that this is NOT the norm at hospitals. There usually is a Lactation Specialist that will see you once, maybe twice, before you're discharged, but the support in the meantime, like your first latch, isn't there.


Having a professional lactation consultant in your corner can be really helpful. Nursing can sometimes be instinctual, for both you and babe, but likely, that's not the case. Babe has been sucking on their fingers or toes (not the same as latching) in the womb and you've never done this before!


If you have time, find a local, in-person, class (it doesn't have to be from the place of delivery). Instructors will help you figure out different positions - some that might sound and look crazy and uncomfortable, but that might be SO useful once you begin. You'll learn how to hold their head and your breast correctly. You'll learn how their little lips should look once latched. How to keep track of which side you nursed on last, what signs to watch out for, etc.


Remember... nursing is HARD work. But you don't have to do it alone and wonder if you're doing it correctly. Also remember, sometimes it's hard months into it. It's never too late to reach out whether it's immediate help after birth, months down the line, or even years. It's such a personal journey, but one that can also be full of support.


As a birth doula, I'll usually hang around helping after the birth and to see if you need help with an initial latch, but I'm also not certified in lactation. I would be HAPPY to connect you, regardless of where you live, to a local lactation consultant. (If you are one - message me! Let's connect!)


--- PLEASE know that I strongly believe in 'FED is best.' If you choose not to or cannot nurse your babe, that is your decision to make. If you're ever feeling shamed into this decision, I'd love to chat and reassure you that it is nothing to feel shameful about. Feeding your baby, formula or breastmilk, is the best for YOUR baby and not your neighbors. <3


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