|

Deciding to Breastfeed

Hannah, then age three: "Mummy, what are you doing?"
Me: "I'm feeding the baby."
Hannah: "Yuck!"

That conversation took place the day after I delivered our third child, Emma. The girls were visiting the hospital along with my husband and mother. The baby was hungry, so I began to nurse her. As I did, the older girls gaped in surprise. That's when Hannah weighed in on breastfeeding. We adults had a good laugh about Hannah's remark, and the memory of her reaction still makes me smile nearly two years later.

As Hannah and Hayley became accustomed to my nursing Emma, I would often point out that a mother's body is perfectly designed to feed a baby. In trying to figure out breastfeeding, the girls would pose all sorts of different questions, including: Does it hurt? How do you make milk? and Where does the milk come out?

No doubt, you have your own questions about breastfeeding, particularly if you're contemplating nursing a baby for the first time. Don't feel embarrassed by your lack of nursing knowledge. Knowing how to breastfeed is not the same thing as knowing how to make your mother's pot roast recipe. Generally speaking, our mothers and grandmothers did not breastfeed, because it was largely discouraged at the time. Unfortunately, that limits our information sources about the benefits of nursing, never mind the practical aspects of how to actually breastfeed a baby.

In My Experience: Call in a Consultant
Moms new to nursing a baby (and even experienced breastfeeding women) need all the encouragement they can get. If you're having any sort of difficulty with breastfeeding, you need a caring, knowledgeable expert to provide advice and to cheer you on. Certified lactation consultants are just the ticket. After having some trouble with pain and improper positioning during the initial weeks of nursing my first child, I paid for a home visit by a lactation consultant whom I had met in the hospital. Getting together with Michelle for an hour was one of the smartest moves I have made to date as a parent. She assured me that I was doing a good job, and that my problems would soon be resolved. That cheered me up and gave me the necessary confidence to go on breastfeeding Hayley and two more children after her.

Hospital-based breastfeeding classes are a boon, but you may run into problems when you get home. When you need help, rely on International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). As health care professionals who meet the eligibility requirements set by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, members possess the knowledge and positive attitude needed to provide quality breastfeeding advice for nursing moms and their babies. IBCLCs work in hospitals, community settings, and in private practice.

Next: Benefits >>
|

Copyright © 2002 by Elizabeth M. Ward. Excerpted from Healthy Foods, Healthy Kids with permission of its publisher, Adams Media Corporation.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Printable Fall Fun To-Do List
Celebrate the cooler weather with this printable checklist of fun fall activities for your whole family.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Care Package Items for College Students
Show your college student that you love and miss her by mailing a care package full of dorm room essentials and comforting treats. Whether it's her birthday, exam time, or just because, get care package ideas to brighten her day.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!