Practically every night, for the last 7+ years, I have sat on the couch and breastfed a baby to sleep. At some point during those evenings, I usually decide I'd like a cup of tea. The problem is that since I'm trapped under a sleeping baby, I can't get up and make said cup. So my wonderful, amazing, husband has done it for me. Every night. For 7+ years.
I asked him to put the kettle on the other day and it occurred to me, that although as much as I love that he does this for me, and I'm sure he doesn't hate it, it is not likely something that he would do so consistently if I wasn't nursing.
That got me thinking, there has to be some other benefits of breastfeeding that aren't listed on traditional channels. Things that are happy outcomes that nursing mothers can take advantage of, but not benefits doctors or health care providers would promote.
So here you go - My list of 11 Secret Benefits of Breastfeeding
'Tis the season to be jolly!
This time of year, everywhere you go, there seems to be alcohol available. And the question is, as a breastfeeding mother, can you enjoy? Is it okay to indulge?
If you google this question, you can find posts that say it's okay and other that say not a chance. So what's the real answer?
Lets look at the do's and dont's when it comes to alcohol and breastfeeding.
How to tell that a latch really is a good one
A typical conversation in my life:
Parent: I know the latch is good but it still hurts.
Me: How do you know the latch is good?
Parent: I saw (insert doctor, public health nurse, other support person) and they said it was fine.
Stop right there.
If your latch hurts, it's not a good latch.
I promise. If it hurts, something is wrong.
When you have a new baby, you tend to question everything. You really are left with no ability to form clear thoughts because every decision seems so very momentous. Every tiny thing you do affects another human being. And that is HUGE weight on anyone's shoulders. Put that on the shoulders of an exhausted, hormonal woman who feels like she's just run a marathon and it's a wonder anyone gets out alive.
We do though. We get out alive. A lot of that is simply due to the support that we have around us.
There is so much breastfeeding information out there. There is no way you can read it all before baby comes, and truthfully, after baby comes, everything is so overwhelming that even if you did read it all, you wouldn't remember it. I've learned a lot in the last 7 years and narrowed it down a bit. Here are 15 things I wish I'd known before I started breastfeeding. (and 1 bonus!)
In this world of parenting and breastfeeding and children and motherhood there are so many obstecles and challenges that we must overcome. It's all so new to each of us and it's not like choosing a china pattern. Each of the decissions you make can have a VERY significant impact of someone else's life. Someone else that you love very dearly. Most people would give their life for this someone. You have to make ALL THE DECISSIONS for this someone and it's completly overwhelming.
Some people research, and research and research. Others ask a trusted source. Others still just follow their gut. No way is wrong, as long as it's not unsafe and it feels right to you. But it's all overwhelming.
If you're new to this, I want to pass on a couple of things that I've learned (usually the hard way) so that you don't have to learn them.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: I got my results and I passed the exam! I am now an IBCLC!
On Tuesday, October 3rd I wrote the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) Exam that (if I pass) will qualify me as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). I have been immersed in this world for a very long time, so the letters (IBLCE and IBCLC) tend to roll off my tongue, but I know many people (my loving husband included) have no idea what they mean so I thought I would explain a bit here.