Prenatal Lactation: Expectation and Goals
So much time is spent on where to have a baby, how to have a baby, who should be there when having the baby and so many more details. We often find that once said baby has been born, there is a slight panic on what to do with the baby and how to feed the baby. Breastfeeding seems natural for many women however it is not always as easy as the magazine covers portray. Most of the time you are not in designer clothes, with professional hair and makeup, while holding a beautiful naked baby watching him nurse with ease. We also tend to hear so many horror stories about how hard is for some women. The truth is that breastfeeding is an individual experience and that it is as unique as you and your baby but that it does not have to be hard or scary for all women.
We find that mothers with a goal of breastfeeding benefit greatly from a prenatal lactation class. This can be a group class or an individual class in the comfort of your own home. It is important for it to be taught by a nonjudgmental lactation professional that will support your goals. You may have a goal to breastfeed for six weeks until you go back to work, or maybe a goal of exclusive for a six months, or possibly some breastmilk and some formula because that is what works for you, or maybe you want to nurse your baby until he is two or later. All of those goals are amazing goals and you should be proud.
Many studies confirm that the reasons women discontinue breastfeeding prior to the original goal is unrealistic expectations and feeling they did not have enough milk. Let’s start with unrealistic expectations, refer back to the magazine cover example. This is not very realistic, although I must say I have seen some beautiful photos taken of breastfeeding and it is a great way to remember that precious part of your parenting journey. Taking a prenatal lactation class helps set realistic expectations such as it is normal for your newborn to cluster feed and want to nurse 14 times a day in the beginning. That does not mean you do not have enough milk. It can mean the baby wants to comfort nurse or the baby is building your supply, or one of many other reasons all of which are totally normal and should be expected!
Many women feel they do not have enough milk. Yes, that is the case for some women and it is heartbreaking to see a mother want so badly to breastfeed and try everything and find out she does not have sufficient tissue (IGT or similar) to actually produce the milk needed. The good news is that the cases like this are not all that common, again not discounting when this is the case. Often women mistake the desire of the baby to comfort nurse or cluster feed to mean she does not have enough milk when that is not the case.
Understanding how often, how much, and how breastfeeding works can help alleviate stress, fears, and feelings of inadequacy for your newborn. Instead you can replace those feelings with confidence, pride, and enjoy the time that passes so quickly.
To book your prenatal lactation session, please contact us at info@Bosombuddynashville.com. We offer in-home individual sessions or group classes. We have an in-depth curriculum that answers all the questions and provides great insight to both mother and father/partner. Good luck and remember, be proud no matter how you feed your baby!
A few words from some of our previous prenatal lactation sutdents:
"I had no idea how much I didn't know. I have never really seen anyone breastfeed before and was not sure what to expect. I feel ready now."
"Thank you so much!! I feel so much more prepared- you're amazing!! Great teacher!"
"We are the first of our friends to have kids so I did not have anyone to ask. I think all my questions have been answered now!"