A new mom who wants to breastfeed needs support from everyone around her. Especially her partner, but also friends and family.
Looking back, my husband was an incredible support. With Babe, who was tongue tied, we had an incredible amount of difficulties. I was in tears a lot of the time in the first few weeks and months. I was, to be honest, in agony. Not knowing about tongue tie, I nursed through a lot of pain, thinking it was normal. It was my husband that found our first, dear IBCLC, Deborah. By the time we found her, I was using a nipple shield and things felt better. Then I needed her help weaning Babe off of the nipple shield!
We can’t overly prepare for breastfeeding. We can watch some videos and learn various positions. We can remind ourselves breastfeeding is natural and normal. We can remind ourselves it will be a new sensation but we should not be crying from pain. Our nipples shouldn’t bleed. If this is happening, there is an issue. Probably a latching issue that if we can’t fix on our own, with the help of a postpartum doula, breastfeeding support mom from NourriSource or La Leche League, sometimes we need the help of the breastfeeding specialist, an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant).
I think it’s important to know that not every doctor, nurse, paediatrician, is a breastfeeding specialist. If you’re still pregnant, please keep in mind a few people you can call if things get tough. I’ve prepared this guide for moms in Montreal. Getting help as soon as you think you might need it, is key to breastfeeding going more smoothly.
Where are we at now? Babe weaned herself in February, right around her fifth birthday. Yes, you read that right! It’s normal and natural to nurse this long. I don’t love the term “extended breastfeeding,” and much prefer “full-term breastfeeding.” It just happened this way. Remember that nursing a newborn isn’t a guarantee you’ll nurse this long! It certainly wasn’t my plan.
I have no sad feelings around Babe weaned. I have no feelings at all, really. It ran its course and we moved on. Bug, who’s three, still nurses every day, but so minimally. Usually just before bed. Sometimes he nurses to sleep, sometimes not. He doesn’t need my milk to fill his belly. He just likes to know it’s available. The other day he had a low grade fever. Eventhough I don’t have a whole lot of milk, he nursed for hours and the fever passed very quickly. When will he wean? No idea.
It’s incredible to observe how almost ambivalent I am about breastfeeding now. When baby is born, especially when nursing is challenging, breastfeeding is the centre of everything. But it’s just a moment. Like everything. This too shall pass. The pain, stress, discomfort, AND all the beautiful moments we spend nursing. None of it is permanent. I think that’s important to remember.