Did you know babies are more than capable to latch on themselves, especially babies who are skin to skin and undisturbed? Some babies are so ready to feed, they get on the breast with minimal help, some babies need a bit more support. By giving you information and practical tips, your midwife and support people can show you how to get yourself and baby in the best positions to obtain a good latch, comfortable for you and effective for baby. Feeling confident in getting baby on the breast without the hands-on help of others is important for you to be able to feed your baby in the long run. If someone offers this type of help, feel free to decline and ask them if they can explain what to do, so you can do it yourself. You got this, mama!
What if I can’t (or don’t want to) breastfeed?
Sometimes unexpected challenges can get in the way of baby being able to feed effectively from the start. But it doesn’t mean baby can’t receive the amazing goodness that is colostrum or that you won't be able to breastfeed soon. Hand expressing is a great way to stimulate your milk production without baby’s help and still offer them your liquid gold. You can collect the expressed colostrum into small syringes and store them in your freezer for months. Did you know you can do this in the later stages of your pregnancy too and build a little supply ready for baby?
Pro-tip: hand-expressing from 36 weeks will also help your cervix get ready for labour.
Self-care and breastfeeding
Whether you find breastfeeding to be quite straightforward or more of a challenge, it is a demanding 24/7 task and you need a support team to make sure you’re also looked after. Let the people around you know how they can help, so they can take on some of the responsibilities and let you relax and focus on your recovery and bonding with your baby. Meal prepping is one of the most important tasks to delegate, as it’s too easy to get carried away looking after our little ones that we often forget to eat.
You were never meant to do this alone, mama. Ask for what you need and surround yourself with people that will hold you up and keep you fed and nourished.