Ok so…. I’ve been a Registered Nurse for Maternal/Child Health for nearly 20 years and a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) or Specialist for over half that time. Since being at home full time as a mother I have recognized a few things:
1- I LOVE being home with my family all day and caring for them with all my energy,
2- I do NOT miss the hospital system environment …not even a little,
3- I DO miss my patients…a Lot.
· I miss helping that new mom who feels overwhelmed with the new responsibilities of motherhood
· I miss the skeptical look of an experienced mom who has successfully breastfed other children that changes to friendship when I can help her learn something new about her current baby
· I miss the happy sounds of a newborn that has settled into a nutritive rhythm at the breast
· I miss dispelling myths about breastfeeding
· I miss reminding the new dad/partner that he still has responsibilities and can’t “check out”
· I miss the victory of working through a challenging infant who is sleepy/has a tongue tie/is a little premature
· I miss the triumph in a mother’s eyes when she finally has enough of her own breastmilk expressed to exclusively feed to her premature infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
· and Yes…I even miss those sad and painful moments when we’ve tried absolutely Everything and having to give a mom permission stop trying to produce milk (yes- I’ve had to do this many times.)
With these revelations, I decided to write down the guidance I would provide as if I were still at a mother’s bedside guiding her along her journey. I do this with an open heart and a true prayer that somewhere in the world, my words will help a new mother. Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, I hope you find some nugget of useful assistance to help you and your new baby to a happy and healthy breastfeeding experience.
Here we go: