While pregnant I read every book I could get my hands on that was related to birth. I am an avid reader so reading books was the norm. The internet and social media spaces catering to birth and breast / chestfeeding were was also my go-to sources. I was armed with information and the text made breast / chestfeeding look easy. Certainly I thought I had it covered between the detailed descriptions, footnotes, the diagrams and links to further reading. I was the expectant mother that clicked on the links within the links to see what else I could discover.
I was grateful to have given birth in a hospital that had a phenomenal (and I mean PHENOMENAL) breastfeeding program that included a team of Lactation Counselors, a weekly drop in breastfeeding clinic and a monthly support group. I was surrounded with care throughout my journey and I am eternally grateful. We had issues; issues that could not be solved via book or Google. Nothing compared to the hands-on support that I received following the birth of my daughter.
Getting help is a must during the early stages of breast / chestfeeding. A Lactation Counselor is an expert trained to assist with lactation concerns. When in doubt, find one! Let’s put this into perspective. You would not call your trusted auto mechanic to fix household electrical issues. It seems logical to contact an electrician — one who specializes in electrical concerns.
It is ESSENTIAL that you educate yourself about breast / chestfeeding. This means researching and obtaining information from reputable sources. Trust and believe that I heard my share of old wives tales and false information based on uninformed opinions. Those spreading this nonsense are usually first to offer advice. Research and connections to knowledgeable individuals will help you to decipher between fact and fiction. Arming myself with factual information certainly helped me to tune out unwanted, unhelpful and absurd information. Consider enrolling in a class during pregnancy in preparation for the arrival of your little one(s). Let’s normalize planning and preparing to breast / chestfeed in the same manner utilized to flawlessly execute baby showers, gender reveals and other celebratory events.
It is ESSENTIAL to surround yourself with a tribe of supporters that “get it.” This is imperative as these individuals will be the ones to cheer you on and support your personal breast / chestfeeding goals. Let’s also normalize surrounding a new parent with postpartum support by way of preparing homecooked meals, washing dishes, running errands and caring for the older children while the new parent focuses on their newest addition.
It is ESSENTIAL to recognize that you do not need to suffer in silence. Mental health is imperative to your overall wellness. Seek out a Therapist. Seek out a Psychiatrist (a Medical Doctor that specializes in mental health and can prescribe medications) if needed. And yes, there are psychotropic medications that can be taken during pregnancy and while breast / chestfeeding.
It is ESSENTIAL to plan ahead. Planning ahead by lining up key individuals will set you up for success along the journey. Therapists and Lactation Counselors are ESSENTIAL WORKERS. Remember that you do not have to wait until you are in crisis to enlist assistance. Reach out to your tribe early on to outline the type of support that you are seeking. Invest in yourself by starting the planning process early. You will not regret it!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love & Breastmilk™
The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.