Come on Guys, We Can Do More to Normalize Breastfeeding
Where do I start? Well, the truth of the matter is that we shouldn’t have to talk about breastfeeding to raise awareness.
I hope that many of you reading this support all mums and make them feel empowered in their decisions when it comes to feeding and nourishing the little humans we are responsible for keeping alive. Unless we keep talking about breastfeeding, it will never become normal and people will never change their attitudes...
I know that not everyone is able or willing to breastfeed and I have often wondered why? Are other people’s attitudes and opinions stopping mums from doing it? To all the mums out there, I want to tell you that you are not alone!
Obviously, I can’t breastfeed, but, I have seen the challenges mums experience. I can’t feel the pain of an incorrect latch or sore nipples but I did feel helpless when my wife experienced this.
What I could do to support her was bring her food and water when she was on the couch or the chair breastfeeding. I will be doing the same when number two arrives.
Make sure that you access the support resources that are available and don’t let others make you feel less confident or worried due to their opinions.
Breastfeeding is Beautiful
I didn’t really know how I was going feel about Tasha breastfeeding because I had never had any exposure or first-hand experience with it. Now that I have, I can say that it is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen.
The bond and connection between Tasha and Oscar was plain to see. Of course, I use the word “beautiful” for those feeds that would be considered perfect but without a shadow of a doubt there were feeds that are tough, both physically and mentally.
Breastfeeding May Be Beautiful, but, it’s Not Always Easy
There are physical challenges to deal with - a poor latch or a reflux spew straight after a feed. But, there are also other worries, like whether the little one is getting enough milk to keep him full. There were times when Oscar’s pulling and tugging during feeding was like he’d not eaten for days and he would wriggle around like bag of eels!
I know of mums who are reluctant to go out in public when they know that a breastfeed is due. This makes me sad.
If you judge or give funny looks, you need to grow up. This goes double for the people who say babies should be fed in bathrooms. How would they feel asking to be covered up – or to eat in a toilet?
We Still Need to Normalize Breastfeeding
As I mentioned earlier, I wish normalising breastfeeding wasn’t necessary. Breasts, first and foremost are for producing nutrient-rich food and dads you can get involved too!
There is plenty a dad can do to help mum around feeding time. Learn how the breast pump works, how to clean it and how to set it back up ready for the next pumping session.
Think about all the places you might go regularly – the parents or in-laws – and take extra supplies to leave there. Breast milk Storage Bags, Quick Clean sterilising bags or Quick Clean wipes are always helpful.
Thank you to @medelaau for working with mums AND dads to keep the conversation going to make breastfeeding normal.
I’d love you hear your thoughts and experiences - Do you feel supported? Have you had a difficult time while out and about or even at home? Let’s have a chat here or on the Medela Australia Facebook page!