"Breastfeeding is a natural continuation of pregnancy. It nourishes the baby while providing immediate closeness and touch, which regulates baby’s nervous system.
It is your baby’s first relationship, which will inform all the ones that follow.
Breastfeeding also protects and strengthens maternal health, both physical and mental.
As the mother nurses her baby she is also learning to how to parent and gains confidence.
Most of us want to breastfeed and can name many other reasons to do so. Yet so many of us, are unable to have the experience we so dearly desire..."
-Natasha Ossinova, RN, ICBLC
Breastfeeding is a totally natural process, right? Right. BUT that doesn't always mean its easy.
For some, it happens effortlessly as if both momma and baby have been doing it for years. But for many, if not most, help is a necessary part of a successful journey. Especially for first-timers.
So what can you do to help improve your chances of a successful breastfeeding journey? I asked our Lactation Consultant the same question and here's what she said:
While some things are outside of our control, we can do a lot to prepare ourselves for successful breastfeeding. Gathering information about breastfeeding, learning what normal newborn behavior looks like, watching other mothers nurse their children and building a strong support network for the postpartum period are all very important.
I find that most women who are new to breastfeeding find the most success when they have a prenatal appointment with a lactation consultant. Learning what to expect and how to avoid certain pitfalls BEFORE they have their baby leads to greater success breastfeeding once they do have their little one.
Having a working relationship with a certified lactation consultant can make all the difference between a successful breastfeeding relationship and an unsuccessful attempt. But if you cant afford one-on-one time with a good lactation specialist, what can you do?!
Here is another word of advice from our IBCLC Natasha:
"If you are unable to work directly with a lactation consultant, please come join us at a La Leche League meeting! [Natasha helps lead these in our local area] Research shows that mothers who receive support from their peers nurse longer and with greater confidence and satisfaction. Find us on FB at La Leche League of the Northern Shenandoah Valley."
Here is the link to their facebook page
So there you have it! Hire a lactation consultant and/or attend the monthly La Leche League meetings. There are many available throughout our state and even internationally. If you live outside our immediate area, find one near you by exploring the La Leche League's website.
Thanks for tuning in!
All our best,
The Flourish Team