It is no secret that breastfeeding is the way that babies were meant to be fed, nourished, and soothed. Through the consistent results from studies conducted on the benefits of breastfeeding, we know that breastfeeding is absolutely worth giving it a really good try if nothing else. It is worth being committed to, no matter if you are a stay-at-home mom, work out of the home mom, or a work in the home mom. Women didn’t need scientific studies to tell us that. We know that there is a commonsense element to the whole issue. Our breasts are there. We grow them in relation to becoming fertile. Our breasts change throughout our pregnancies, and they fill with milk about three days after our babies are born without us telling them to. Our breasts were meant to feed our babies. Why with these obvious clues as to the importance of our breasts to our babies, would we ever second guess that breastmilk is the best nourishment for our babies? Why would we ever second guess our ability to breastfeed?
I could spend the remainder of this post listing the many reasons why women do second guess their ability to breastfeed. I wrote about these reasons before in a post titled – There’s More Than Choice Involved When it Comes to Breastfeeding. But instead, I want to say – Yes You Can!!!!! You Can Breastfeed!!!!
Do you have small breasts? Large ones? Are you a busy mother? Are you worried about being seen as perverted by people who misunderstand breastfeeding? Do you want your partner or family to be involved in feeding the baby? Do you wonder if it will be a hassle when you are out in public? Are you afraid it will affect your partner’s relationship with your breasts? Are you afraid that there is some sort of sexual attachment involved because you only know your breasts as a sexual body part? Are you concerned that it might make your breasts look different? Do you worry that you won’t be successful and then somehow feel guilty?
Those are legitimate questions with answers. The short answer is – Yes, you can breastfeed. If nothing else, you can commit to learning more about breastfeeding, and giving it your best effort once your baby is born. There are few mothers who don’t face some sort of obstacle when it comes to breastfeeding. But, with the right support, you can move past most of those obstacles, and have a great experience with breastfeeding.
Who should you talk to about breastfeeding to get helpful answers? Mothers who have breastfed their babies and feel like they did the right thing. You can find them in your community or through breastfeeding support groups (like chapters of La Leche League). WIC peer counselors are available through many of the health departments across the country (including here in Letcher, Knott, Perry, Pike, and Leslie counties in Kentucky) and they can help you with learning more before you make any kind of decision to breastfeed, as well as during your breastfeeding time. Lactation consultants. Many pediatricians, OB/Midwives, hospitals, and family doctors are hiring full time lacatation consultants to be part of the care they give mothers and babies. Why? Because they value breastfeeding and know that by providing that service, they can help their patients receive the lifelong benefits of breastfeeding. Choose a care provider who knows the value of breastfeeding, and will help you through the process, because it is worth it.
One thing not to do is to feel guilty. If you do decide to try breastfeeding and for whatever reason it does not work out, don’t feel guilty. As mothers we do the best we can with what we have to work with. Did you give it your best try? Did you or your baby experience an illness that hindered your ability to continue breastfeeding or begin breastfeeding? Those are not things within our control, and therefore guilt should not be involved. At the same time, know that most problems you might face when it comes to breastfeeding can be overcome with the right kind of experienced and/or professional help.
Watch this short video to learn more about choosing to breastfeed, and give this option a fair chance as you consider how you will feed your baby. Please, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m more than happy to share what information I have with you.