In my prenatal yoga classes this week, the requested theme has been breastfeeding. It’s a topic, that up until now, I’ve shied away from bringing into the studio. Why? I guess it’s that I don’t want to be known as or thought of as one of “those women who push breastfeeding.”
What a touchy subject, eh? Why is something so normal and natural such a hot button issue? Lots of answers. But that’s not what I want to talk about in this post. For anyone who knows me as a friend, blogger or yoga teacher, you probably know that I nursed for almost 6 years straight, nearly 3 of those years I nursed two kids. At some point, I hardly had any milk to speak of, because neither Babe nor Bug woke up at night to nurse anymore, and we spent hours apart every day. My attempts to wean Babe were a fail and I realized weaning her wasn’t a priority at all. Bug just wentwith it, nursing for like 30 seconds before he got annoyed at the lack of milk and said, “Goodnight, milky.” Before his fourht birthday he was no longer nursing. You might also know that my nursing journey was not an easy one. I look back and my mind is blown that Babe and I actually got it together. Here are a few archived posts about breastfeeding.
I didn’t expect to be nursing way beyond 2 years old. I didn’t expect to nurse through pregnancy or tandem nurse. Just a few examples of how we can’t really know what parenting will look like for us until we’re in the thick of it.
The reason I decided to get this post together is to encourage students and mamanaturale readers to dive into some research. Hopefully in or before pregnancy, not when it’s 4am and you’re crying because your baby is hungry and you have no idea what’s going on.
Know that if you’ve been in my prenatal yoga classes, or you’re a friend of a friend, or just a mom who needs help, you can always be in touch and I will do my best to help. Postpartum doulas can provide excellent breastfeeding help. You can find the company I work with, Rock the Cradle, here.
Things to research:
Risks of not breastfeeding <– you can Google that. Not going to go on a “breast is best” rant, really, ‘fed is best!’ but know there are true risks for mother and child.
What is an IBCLC and where can I find one? If you live in the province of Quebec, here is a great link to find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. The woman at the hospital who comes to “help” you with nursing may not be a IBCLC and many people feel the help and advice they receive in the hospital leaves something to be desired. My experience was a very stressful one. The CLSC nurse that came to our house for a follow-up luckily was very knowledgeable and set us on our way to healing. With Babe, a local IBCLC named Deborah Van Wyck (514-605-6813 firstname.lastname@example.org) was a huge help. When we dealt with lip and tongue tie for Bug, we sought out advice from Jennifer Welch (514-296-8073 email@example.com). Chantal Lavigne (514-947-1877) comes highly recommended too.
What is tongue tie? Super duper common, and one of the biggest reasons breastfeeding doesn’t go according to plan. Many if not most doctors do not know enough about this. If you think your child has tongue/lip tie, please find an IBCLC to help you. This can save breastfeeding.
La Leche League: Meet with other moms at local meetings run by La Leche Leaders.
Nourri-Source: I was a volunteer with this beautiful mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group for a few years. You get hooked up with another nursing mother who has been through a good amount of training. If issues come up, you can phone her, and this support is often enough to get us through some seemingly difficult situations. No question is silly. I highly recommend contacting Nourri-Source while you’re pregnant just in case.Me! If you’re a yoga student of mine, call me! Seriously, I’ll do what I can to help and refer if it’s out of my scope!
The Womanly art of Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin
Sweet Sleep by La Leche League
Anything by Jack Newman
I hope some of this is helpful. I regularly receive emails from strangers and students on topics like this. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you need anything.