Why breastfeeding is about way more than boobs!
Your hormone balance and mood in the early weeks relies on frequent suckling from the baby, which releases a hit of oxytocin to make you feel loved up and makes you more resilient to sleep deprivation (maternal health, science).
Babies expect to be in arms and studying your face at close range lot. They are calmed by sucking and feeling your breath pattern, and their brain is making connections about feeling safe as you feed them (infant development).
Understanding latch, mechanics and feeding on demand rather than a three hourly schedule is important for building and maintaining supply (breastfeeding education).
Everyone has an opinion. Up to 90% of mothers don't reach their breastfeeding goals. We perform our mothering work within a complex web of systems built by the patriarchal systems, which may not provide the support we expect (motherhood studies).
Cluster feeding and exhaustion is really draining and partners can feel unsure how to help mum. Well meaning comments often don't feel that way and arguments or resentment can develop. Women are 11x more likely to continue breastfeeding if they have a supportive partner (Relationship).
There is some evidence that grandmothers have a key say in they new breastfeeding relationship, and that whether they breastfed or not influences their support to new mums more than how much education on the benefits and norms of breastfeeding that they receive. (Relationship, village building, boundary setting).
Breastfeeding may also bring up different emotional and hormonal considerations when it comes to restarting sex after baby (relationship, intimacy).
Dads don't need to bottle feed to bond with their baby. There are plenty of other ways dads can perform hands on baby care (skill building, confidence building).
Women are told to eat or avoid certain foods. The evidence for these is mixed, but we know restrictive diets are more likely to harm milk supply than help it. Drinking lots of water, eating well and feeding on demand are the best things for milk supply (postpartum food).
Holding the baby in position for feeding for hours a day can cause back, neck and shoulder pain. There are feeding positions and stretches that can aid with this. Guidance may be needed when returning to intense exercise or competitive sport while nursing (exercise physiology).
Breastfed babies wake more frequently. This is a good thing as it is a protective measure against SIDS. It is likely more helpful to give mum time out so she can nap than switching to formula in an effort to get sleep. Feeding to sleep is the biological norm and helps mum feel sleepy too (sleep, village building).
Mothers can feel like all they do is breastfeed. They can feel physically stuck and intellectually stifled at times, while also being passionate about continuing breastfeeding. It can be hard to feel dependent on others to do our daily tasks when we have previously been independent adults (identity).
This is how we tie it all together, and why it takes more than a 2 hour breastfeeding class run by your hospital to put a plan in place to make breastfeeding work!
Prepared Together parent prep course has just kicked off, but you can jump in any time throughout the six weeks for $247 with forever access!
- News (33)
- Post-partum (52)
- Breastfeeding (16)
- Sleep (10)
- Food (6)
- Partners (12)
- Rehab (1)
- Parenting (31)
- Birth (12)
- Pandemic (13)
- Research Update (5)
- Decolonisation (2)
- Covid (14)
- Education (6)
- Motherhood (27)
- vaccines (2)
- Children (7)
- self employed (1)
- government policy (2)
- feminism (6)
- abortion (1)
- lockdown (2)
- infancy (1)
- gentle parenting (6)
- infertility (1)
- parenthood (2)
- isolation (1)
- village (3)
- Pregnancy (1)