For all mamas who are or who want to breastfeed:
Trust your body, trust birth, trust your baby, trust your breasts.
I have recently been shocked by how many women report being told that they are not producing *enough milk* in the days immediately following birth.
You are not supposed to produce milk immediately, your body is producing the perfect food for your baby, in perfect quantities – that beautiful liquid gold; COLOSTRUM. Your baby can only manage 5-7ml at a feed on day one, so you don’t need a gushingly abundant supply (nor is this ever the case since your body is perfectly capable of establishing a supply suited to YOUR baby’s need).
Watch your baby, not the clock. Offer your breasts often & without time restrictions. Aim for nursing your newborn 8-10 times within each 24 hours. If told your baby is *only* comfort feeding, smile & say “It’s never just for comfort” – by suckling at your breast, your baby stimulates your breasts, sending vital signals to your body to produce more colostrum, and gradually over a week or two, to increase the supply and your body will keep pace with your baby, the balance of nourishment/nutrients/immune protection all matching your baby’s need in a well-choreographed dance between your body & your baby.
That said, a baby sleepily suckling at your breast should not cause any more discomfort than a baby who is swift at the breast – if it hurts, gently pop them off & start again, and don’t be scared to ask for support, and to keep asking.
Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, but it is also an art that needs to be learned by you & your baby.
As a La Leche League Leader, I have offered support & information to pregnant and breastfeeding women for over 3 years (and prior to that as a mother to mother since my eldest son was born 6 years ago and other mothers I knew began to ask questions). The questions and challenges remain the same but the solutions and the outcomes vary with each nursing couple, since no two mothers or babies are identical.
You can find a wealth of breastfeeding information here as well as links to finding local groups in your area:
Please, never *give up* because you *couldn’t* do it – make that choice to stop if it is what you truly want, but if you even slightly want to keep going, keep seeking support, you will find a way to breastfeed or human-milk-feed your baby. Ttust your body, trust your baby, trust your breasts…