So I went out and met my friends, WITH THE BABY, alone! Haha. I wouldn't…
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Today’s post is a breastfeeding guest post by Su Ann. I have first “met” Su Ann on Twitter when I wanted to let go of my booking of Goodwood Park Hotel’s Junior Suite, due to clash of schedule. I wouldn’t have guessed that such a friendship would blossom over time and I really enjoy reading her wellness posts on social media these years.
Su Ann would be sharing about her breastfeeding journey and beliefs. When I was pregnant, I admit that the entire pregnancy and baby caring process can be quite nerve-wrecking and overwhelming. Su Ann details out some ways for you to find out more about BF, and making your choice. While BF is acknowledged to be the best for our babies, whether BF or FM, it does not define you as a mum! Remember, all mums are great mums!
I will admit. I am passionate. I am *almost* sanctimonious. I am all for breastmilk feeding.
We’re new parents to an almost 6 month old little girl and I’m very grateful for a few things that took place along the pregnancy journey till now, so let me share some of my personal thoughts.
1. Read Up Before Delivery
Each (new) mum needs to be armed with as much knowledge and rally as much support as possible to enable her to breastfeed (hereon referred to as BF) or breastmilk (BM) feed her child. Breastfeeding does not begin only after birth. You would need to understand the entire concept of breastfeeding and how it works.
For example: opt for less drugs during delivery to assist with immediate latching, insistence on skin to skin right after birth, supportive hospital staff, scheduled lactation consultant (LC) visits, family & friends who will help with and support the BF journey – not bombard mum with myths, etc…
You must read, read, and read. Bump up your knowledge on how and why to breastmilk feed. I agree with you – there’s SO MUCH to read, it’s information overload – but that’s the beauty.
When you read, you’re broadening your horizons and understanding things from both sides of the coin, and thus you can make an informed decision. Still confused? Join forums & BF advocate pages with real time answers and help. This will lead me to my next point.
2. Social Media Detox For BF Support
Way before pregnancy I had this “urge to purge”. I got tired of seeing nonsensical posts on my Facebook timeline. I decluttered and deleted. Kissed 800+ friends & useless pages or groups goodbye & kept family members.
It was refreshing – I now have access to relevant posts on fitness, world news, nutrition. Slowly I added pregnancy into the mix, and now BM feeding too. I was fortunate that I did have time to read a lot. Husband and I shared information, made decisions on delayed cord clamping (higher iron stores for baby), skin to skin (increase chance for first latch & breast crawling), etc…
Now, I am an active member in a couple of groups, and a silent reader of some. Very rarely do I miss posts and whether a relevant topic or not, I’ll at least have a glance at it.
I strongly believe that many (new) mums out there may fall into the “ignorant” trap or “take the easy way out” route without trying to first solve the problem at hand. A good example would be latching on is too painful.
Or, sometimes we fall ill & supply diminishes… Sometimes we can be “made to believe” we’re low supply, or more accurately, self-diagnosed low supply… Sometimes our families cast a huge cloud of doubt on us saying the BM is “too watery, too thin, nutrition-less”… Sometimes we start pumping too soon causing oversupply issues and pain… Other times, we fall into “top up traps” by following what nannies or other care-givers advice… Occasionally we forget to wake up to do a pump, leading to supply problems, etc.
Have we not heard all those before? From what I’ve read up on, the problems we, as mums, face seem to be all so similar. And these questions keep on repeating.
This is why it is essential for mums to be on their toes and read up constantly on BF even before delivery, if you’re serious about it. Understand that “human milk is for human babies”, so don’t ever doubt your body’s capabilities to feed your own flesh & blood!
We grow a whole new organ in our bodies for our babies – the placenta – that keep our babies alive and nourished in our wombs. So why stop there? Continue to persevere in providing BM that’s specifically tailor-made for your baby!
3. Why is the 4th Trimester Important?
In my humble opinion, the 4th trimester (or the first 3 months) is very crucial as baby is still very, very young and needs the consistent reassurance of the mum and probably the breast as well. This is also the period where BF routine can be established – direct latching if possible – and time to get to know each other (yes, you and baby. No rushing to get back to work if you’re on maternity leave).
You might have no need for pumping (yet), and have time to try overcome any potential issues (because there’s time, no pressure to switch to bottles), etc. Providing BM is even more important if one has a pre-term baby with immature or underdeveloped organs, gut. BM will be the kindest to them.
4. Future Support for BF?
My hope is for the countries that we reside in, and the companies we work with and for, to have a better BF support – encourage and support mums (and dads) in their BF journey. It probably won’t be overnight, change never is.
For mums, we went through 30-something weeks of gestation period and growing a human being in us. From there, we continue fighting for our children and providing the best we can, as long as we can. BF can deplete our body’s nutrition storage so we must eat well to compensate. We must try to be the best version of ourselves so that we can be our best for others.
I do hope to continue breastfeeding my child until she self-weans, whenever that may. I am confident that my body can give my child a lot of things that none others out there can. Happy breastfeeding dear mums. Self-believe is the one thing no one can take away from you!
Su Ann is a firm believer in mindful, healthy living through fitness, nutritious food and consciously being happy everyday.
Currently based in Indonesia and a full time mum to an almost 6 month old little girl, she’s grateful for all the support and opportunities to fully breastmilk-feed her child, with no signs of stopping anytime soon.