As mammals we are constructed to feed our young:
- Without thought.
- Doesn’t take any effort.
- It just happens.
Let baby dictate how and when. Baby-led breastfeeding is how all other mammals do it.
We just have to let Nature have her way with us.
This means – easy and natural birthing makes for easy breastfeeding.
Even though many of us do not get the natural birthing option, breastfeeding can still be automatic and joyful.
To breastfeed easily we need a few pre-requisites:
- Plenty of food
- Plenty of rest
- Plenty of water
- Plenty of helpful advice and loving support
- Plenty of protein, essential vitamins
- A willing baby
What we don’t need is what is considered to be current “best practice”.
Information that is counter productive. Not what lead your mother’s generation to easily breastfeed.
If your mum couldn’t – it is likely she would have been able to had she known what I am sharing with you here.
Advice to ignore:
1) – Empty one breast first.
No farmer would do this to his with his dairy herd – he would have them all with mastitis.
Ask your mum and her mum – is this what they did? If they were successful breast feeders it is highly unlikely.
Ten minutes each side, with a rest for burping in between.
Return to original side if baby still wants more. Till baby is full.
And burped all the way through.
Yes – this may take a while – so you sit to feed with at least three glasses of water and a protein snack and some B vitamins and put your feet up . .
2) – Cold placed anywhere near your pregnant or birthing or post baby body.
Although it is offered everywhere and often demanded of us in hospital – cold anywhere near your vulnerable body will create dramas. How it does this is by stopping the normal circulation. Blood brings oxygen and healing to the cells and takes away what is not needed. When cold is applied the blood does not circulate – leaving you with not enough of what you need and too much of what you don’t on site. How to reverse this? Do what feels better – heat. Comfort. Ice may numb it but causes everything to slow down – especially healing. It may well hurt – that is your body warning you – giving you the message to not use it till it is better. . . a rest after baby is the most important thing.
Do not ice any part of you. Especially NOT your breast – when engorged – a warm shower and take a little out of them. Not a lot -just enough to relieve the fullness somewhat. Your body remakes whatever is taken out. However much initial comfort it gives you.
Heat will allow healing to happen. Cold does the opposite. Slows it down.
More information on Heather’s blog: creating birth injuries.
For those who fear mastitis – just do these two things – I know – it is contrary to what everyone has said to do. But then this is contrary to everything that used to work – and what was drummed into the last generation of breastfeeding mothers.
Start with the initial breastfeed
– just a few minutes – as long as baby has all of her/his cord blood still in her/his body – as then plenty of hydration is still available till the milk comes in.
When the milk does flow
– both sides will be overflowing as long as the pre-requisites are met:
Maybe baby and you just need to cuddle up in bed skin to skin. and if it doesn’t – see below – – if baby was unsettled – perhaps s/he is hungry. . everyone expects you to get mastitis . . . go back to what has always worked – common sense. How CAN your breast keep making milk with a limited space to put it in? How can you go about with one relatively massive breast and one relatively loose/floppy one?
Insufficiency of supply
Almost every woman can breastfeed.
What may slow milk production:
- Lack of rest.
- Lack of water.
- Lack of nutrients – protein, B vitamins and essential fats.
- Inappropriate advice. If baby is still hungry after a feed – why not pop baby back on the breast sooner rather than later? The more sucking – as long as the vital ingredients are there – the more milk you will make.
The recipe for insufficiency is: get a bottle and supplement feed.
Although everyone may be telling you to.
Answer – don’t get in that position . . .