Apart from being the best form of nourishment for babies breastfeeding is also the easiest. The bottom line is that it is innate so all mothers and babies know instinctively how to do it. That doesn’t mean that new moms don’t need your help
Misinformation from well-meaning friends, relatives, and even medical professionals confuses and often overwhelms new moms and makes breastfeeding a daunting prospect. When compared to the apparent ease and convenience of formula feeding, it’s no wonder many moms need midwives to come forward to help them to tap into their instincts and to remind them of all of the incredible long-term benefits of breastfeeding.
Sister Lilian’s breastfeeding ABCs for midwives:
Avoid using drugs in labour, because they can hamper early latching; instead, rely on your top-notch midwifery skills to get moms through the delivery.
Begin Baby’s first breastfeed as soon as possible after birth, and make sure mothers have a peaceful, private atmosphere for their first nursing sessions.
Cater to the senses of touch and smell Baby uses for breastfeeding by placing Baby skin-to-skin on Mom’s chest.
Don’t separate Mom and Baby; keep them in the same room at all times.
Encourage moms to wear front opening garments or special feeding shirts during the first few days so that they can see what they’re doing.
Foster frequent nursing to help establish the natural demand-supply cycle.
Get moms to disregard schedules and simply let Baby feed whenever and for as long as he wants to.
Help moms to place warm cloths on their breasts for a few minutes and express some milk if their breasts are too firm for Baby to latch.
Insist that breast is best and only offer water or formulas if absolutely necessary.
Judge Baby’s health based on indicators such as contentment and soiled nappies instead of test-weighing – this simply causes stress for moms!
The heart of the matter
Breastfeeding nourishes babies emotionally as well as physically, and it’s incredibly emotional for moms too. This is a vulnerable time for new moms, and many feel insecure. Go out of your way to encourage them and try to discourage visitors who are negative and may sabotage breastfeeding. Do away with breastfeeding-hindering maternal anxiety by urging moms to rest as much as possible, take each hour as it comes, and accept assistance. Most importantly, lead by example. Let your belief in breastfeeding shine brightly enough to dispel moms’ doubts, and make a point of acknowledging, and congratulating moms for, the important and life-changing decision they have made.