Monday, August 2, 2010

Nursing Know-How

"Are you sure she's latched on correctly?"

I must have asked this 1,000 times in the hospital. I asked my mom, I asked the nurses, I asked my husband, the lactation consultant, the person who came in to change the toilet paper in our room... you get the picture. I asked EVERYONE.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that since breastfeeding is natural, it is also easy.  We think it is a reflex rather than a learned skill. We should automatically know how to nurse our baby. And if we don't, we failed at our first task of motherhood. 

That thinking is dangerous. Just like most new things, we need a teacher. That's where Nana comes in.

I was so lucky to have a good support team around me that helped me get that perfect latch. My mom was the best of all though. She breastfed all five of her babies and gave me invaluable support and advice. 

"Try supporting her head in the crook of your arm." 

"Make sure you drink enough water."

"Do you need a snack?"

The answer to that last one is always, "Yes."

After I had mastered the latch, we moved on to different questions. Things like, "Could the spicy Thai curry I had for dinner last night be making her fussy?" (Yes!)  Mom was always willing to share her experiences or, in the rare event she didn't have any personal experience with my question (i.e. spicy Thai curry), she was there to lend a sympathetic ear. I know all the mamas in our family have turned more than once to Nana for nursing advice.

A nursing mentor is so important for a new nursing mama. Whether it's a friend, a mother, a lactation consultant, a LLL leader, or even an online community. Nana's advice for nursing moms is find someone who has nursed their baby and ask her to share her nursing know-how!

1 comment:

  1. Great advice! There's nothing mama's need more than support from other mama's!


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