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Here’s To the Women Who…

Here’s To the Women Who…

August 1st through the 7th is World Breastfeeding Week! In honor of all women working hard to feed their babies, whether from their breast or a bottle, their own milk or donor milk, First Coast Doulas wants to encourage you all today! You are incredible beings! Here’s to the women who are raising our future human race!

here's to the women who jacksonville placenta

 

Here’s To the Women Who…

Here’s to the women who breastfed for one minute, one day, or one week. To those who made it to a month, a year and even six! Mothering is hard. There’s no right or wrong way to feed your baby or right length of time for anything.

You’re the best mother for your children. You’re doing a great job!

Here’s to the women who wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t. The fact that you found another way to nourish your baby and bond with him in your own way shows you are flexible and loving. Mothering means shifting gears and thinking quick on your feet sometimes.

Fed and loved is what’s best. You’ve done both. You are amazing!

Here’s to the women who were first generation breast feeders. You didn’t know a single thing about breastfeeding, but trusted your body’s design. Those who came before you didn’t see why or how you would make it work, but you did it! Breastfeeding is challenging, you accepted the challenge and step out into the unknown to pave a way.

You’re a boobie pioneer, rock on!

Here’s to those who survived all the long nights of feeding their baby from breasts or from a bottle. Broken sleep patterns, a fussy baby, and the sound of silence is a lonely place to be as a new mother, but you finessed the night and made it through, in your own way!

You are a beautiful soul!

Here’s to those moments of closeness, hope for the future, baby grunts and squirms that come when you are embracing and feeding a newborn no matter the vessel used. Those are the best moments aren’t they?! You used those moments to overthrow the weary ones and you conquered another day.

You are strong and brave!

Here’s to those power pumpers! Whether you choose to pump for a freezer stash or just out of necessity, you make mothering look so selfless! Not everyone responds well to a pump, so rock those flanges and watch those precious drops of milk flow!

You are a milk making goddess, own it!

Here’s to those who share their liquid gold with other babies and toddlers in need of milk. Your acts of kindness will touch and impress upon others for generations to come. Your abundance of milk is incredible, but nowhere nearly as incredible as your love for other human beings!

You are compassionate and generous!

Here’s to the women who are tandem nursing! Who knew your body could provide enough nourishment and comfort for two or more children at a time?! These moments are precious, but trying at times. Remind yourself daily that this won’t last forever and that you are passing on something far greater than just milk.

You are grace and patience; let your light shine bright!

Here’s to those who knew breastfeeding wasn’t the best option for their family as a whole. You acknowledge that human milk for human babies is a complete source of nutrients and is created uniquely by the body for the individual baby, but you also know that ultimately with formula your baby will receive all the nutrients she needs, your family as a whole will be better off, and there is no need to feel less than!

You are confident and that is attractive!

Here’s to the women who have dreamed of having a baby. To those who have endured the heartbreak of miscarriages, infertility, IVF, and those who have birthed babies born sleeping. Just having a baby to feed and love is a huge blessing. You are incredible aunts, neighbors, and parents to your 4 legged babies, but you and your dreams are not forgotten along the way.

Your voice is heard and helps others who are struggling too! You are resilient!

Here’s to all the women who are encouraging others along their parenting journey. Life is tough, raising kids is the hardest, yet one of the most rewarding jobs one can ever have in life. When you extend your kindness to others it is a reflection of how you feel about yourself.

You are a pillar of strength and kindness to those around you. May your kindness never be mistaken as weakness!

World Breastfeeding Week is a week to focus on normalizing breastfeeding! It’s not about downing those who doesn’t breastfeed their babies, but rather it’s another way to teach our society that breasts are normal and another way to feed our babies!

So here’s to normalizing breastfeeding!

Our friends at KellyMom have cited some great sources about breastfeeding!

10 facts about breastfeeding, by The World Health Organization

All You Need To Breastfeed Your Baby

All You Need To Breastfeed Your Baby

First Coast Doulas knows that all you need to breastfeed your baby begins with you!

all you need to breastfeed your baby labor coach Jacksonville

I see it literally every day. Well-meaning people giving bad advice on breastfeeding that leads to mothers spending unnecessary money and time on “things” to help them breastfeed their babies. These ideas are well meaning, but bad.  They also create a false hope that if they buy and do all these things they will be able to breastfeed. Sometimes mothers choose to switch to formula when they could have otherwise accomplished their goals of breastfeeding their infant.

That’s not to say choosing formula is a bad thing. It isn’t. There’s no right or wrong way to feed your baby, just different ways. We all feed with loving intention and to me that’s a win. As a postpartum Doula if it appears our clients are struggling with breastfeeding, I always ask first, “Do you want to continue to breastfeed?” There is a fine line between encouraging and pushing, and we always remain supportive!

So here is a quick list of bad, but well-meaning advice along with a list of good ideas, links, videos, and resources.

Well-Meaning, Bad Advice;

  • Buy a breast pump to see how much milk you’re making. Pumping, while helpful in some situations, is not a good indicator of how much milk your baby is getting while nursing. Your baby transfers milk much more effectively than any pump. A better indicator is wet and dirty diapers and just being in tune with your baby.
  • Feed your baby as soon as they cry. Nope. You want to avoid waiting until they cry when possible. Crying is the last cue that your baby wants to breastfeed. Look for other cues, like, smacking their lips, putting their hand to their mouth, and opening their mouth and moving their head back and forth. Most of the time if you baby is awake in those first couple of weeks they will want to suckle at the breast. This is your baby’s genius way of ensuring he has a milk supply to nourish him.
  • Feed you baby for ___ minutes on each side every ____ hours. Wrong! Feed your baby for as long as your baby is suckling on the breast. When they stop, stroke their cheek and if they start to suckle again keep them there until they no longer respond to the stroking. Then offer the other side if they show cues again. Many of our clients breathe a sigh of relief when we tell them, you don’t have to focus on the clock, focus on your baby. Babies need to suckle at the breast a lot in those early weeks to establish their supply. It’s a supply and demand concept, the more your baby demands by sucking, the more your breast supplies the milk needed.
  • Buy nipple shields and cream now because breastfeeding hurts. WOAH! No way, breastfeeding doesn’t have to be painful. If it is it’s most likely because baby doesn’t have a correct/deep latch. Knowing how to get a good latch is key. There is an excellent video below that demonstrates breastfeeding, what a proper latch looks like, how to get that latch, and also shows a variety of cultures and different size breasts and nipples, all perfect for breastfeeding.
  • In addition to the things I already listed I can’t leave out special teas, supplements, cookies, etc. As a rule you don’t NEED any of these things to breastfeed your baby. There are exceptions to all rules, but as a rule you don’t need to run out and stock up on these things. They can be costly and create doubt.

Good Advice to Consider;

  • Familiarize yourself with what breastfeeding looks like. Watch other moms breastfeed their babies. Ask a friend, family member, or co-worker you know who breastfeeds if they would let you sit with them while they feed their baby. The United States has gotten so far away from feeding babies from the breasts that many people have never seen this done. That is changing, but it’s still stigmatized or seen as taboo. Don’t be afraid, many are more than happy to help out another woman who wants to feed her baby with her breasts.
  • Find a breastfeeding support group in your area, like La Leche League, there may be more than one, Jacksonville has several.
  • Stay skin to skin with your baby as much as possible in the first six weeks of life, NOT just when feeding your baby. This may mean that some visitors may need to postpone their visits or expect to see your breasts. Here’s some science behind skin to skin.
  • Get the contact information to one or two International Board Certified Lactation Consultants in the area that come recommended. If you need that recommendation don’t hesitate to contact us! Contact them and ask questions like, Are you available around my due date? Do you make house calls? How do you feel about x, y, and z?

First Coast Doulas wants you to know that you’re equipped with exactly what you need to feed your baby without any equipment to buy or books to read, period. That’s the bottom line. Women have been feeding their babies from their breasts since the beginning of time.

Remember breastfeeding is more than just a way to feed your baby. It’s bonding, comfort, nourishment, and so much more!

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